Ridgely man arrested on over 100 child pornography charges
CENTREVILLE, Md. – Maryland State Police say a Ridgely man has been arrested following a months-long investigation into child pornography.
According to police, the investigation began earlier this year after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that an online user had uploaded images of possible child pornography/obscene images using a social media platform. Throughout the investigation, officials received additional tips from another social media provider that several images of child porn were distributed through their platform.
Troopers were able to identify the person uploading and distributing the images as 38-year-old James Sleasman. Further investigation revealed evidence that Sleasman had distributed numerous images and videos of child pornography to other people, and it was also alleged that Sleasman was talking to minors under the age of 16 and engaging in sexually-related conversations, soliciting child pornographic images from them.
Sleasman has been charged with 43 counts of distribution of child pornography, 53 counts of possession of child pornography, 15 counts of sexual solicitation of a minor, four counts of solicitation of child pornography, and one count each of distribution of obscene matter and possession with intent to distribute obscene matter. He is currently being held at the Caroline County Detention Center on $50,000 secured bond.
Police say one of the minors has been identified, and investigators are working to identify others, as it is believed that there could be additional victims. Anyone who believes they were a victim of Sleasman and/or has additional information on this case should contact the Maryland State Police Centreville Barrack at 410-758-1101 ext. 5148.