EAST OTIS, Mass. (WWLP) – A man was arraigned in Southern Berkshire Court on charges of child pornography on Monday.
Slade Sohmer of 227 Tolland Road, East Otis is being charged with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography and two counts of Dimensions of Child Pornography.
The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force initiated an investigation into Sohmer on June 16, 2023, following a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A search warrant executed on October 17, 2023, resulted in the seizure of Sohmer’s phones and multiple electronic devices.
The ongoing investigation, processed by the Berkshire District Attorney’s State Police Detective Unit’s digital evidence lab, has unveiled over a thousand explicit images and videos. Hundreds of these involve child pornography, depicting the assault of minors as young as three to four years old. It has been confirmed that Sohmer produced at least one child pornographic video.
Additionally, the Task Force discovered messages between Sohmer and a second individual on the Telegram Messenger app in 2021. These messages reveal disturbing conversations detailing plans to lure, kidnap, and assault children. The chats include graphic discussions on facilitating child rape and exchanges of additional child pornographic content.
The uncovered evidence also suggests the presence of additional illicit material on messaging apps like Telegram Messenger and Snapchat.
During the arraignment, the defense requested bail to be set at $75,000, and the Commonwealth proposed cash bail of $100,000. The judge set bail at $100,000 cash with strict conditions, including no internet access, mandatory location notification to probation, and no contact with children under the age of 18.
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