For Immediate Release - July 08, 2011

Georgetown Man Arraigned for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

Defendant charged with multiple violations

SALEM - A Georgetown man was arraigned for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography on his computer and other charges, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.

Timothy Vaters, age 43, was charged with Possession of Child Pornography (10 counts), Dissemination of Child Pornography (3 counts), Posing a Child in a State of Nudity (3 counts), Unauthorized Video/Photo of a Person in State of Nudity (4 counts), and Possession of Marijuana.

"We allege that the defendant used his computer to obtain and distribute child pornography over the Internet," AG Coakley said. "Our office is committed to protecting children from exploitation and we will continue to prosecute offenders of these crimes."

The charges stem from an investigation referred to the Attorney General's Office by law enforcement officials in Canada in February 2011. According to authorities, an online investigation was conducted on a computer system offering suspected child pornography images over a file-sharing network traced to an Internet Protocol (IP) address in Massachusetts. Following the referral, State Police assigned to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office continued the investigation and traced the IP address to Vaters' residence.

In March 2011, investigators executed a search warrant at Vaters' residence for depictions of child pornography. This resulted in the seizure of various forms of computer equipment and approximately 130 grams of marijuana. The search also resulted in the seizure of a mini camera. Authorities allege that the camera had been strategically placed in private locations to videotape others. Vaters was subsequently arrested.

On March 17, Vaters was arraigned in Haverhill District Court at which time he pled not guilty and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.

Subsequent investigation of the computers, hard drive, and related media revealed a substantial quantity of image and video files containing suspected child pornography.

An Essex County Grand Jury returned indictments against Vaters on June 24. Vaters was arraigned on July 6 in Essex Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered held on his district court bail of $10,000 under the conditions that he: vacate his residence, not operate a computer or smart phone, not have contact or reside with any child under the age of 18, wear a GPS tracking device, and be subject to home confinement with exceptions only for work, attorney appointments, and court. Vaters is due back in court on August 5, for a pre-trial conference. Judge Howard J. Whitehead presided over the arraignment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Kelly of AG Coakley's Cyber Crime Division and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office upon referral from the Saskatchewan, Canada Child Exploitation Unit. The Attorney General's Computer Forensic Lab conducted an extensive forensic analysis of the evidence seized in the investigation.