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Newtown Man Arrested Again On Child Porn Charges

On the day David Eric Anderson, 44, was arrested by Newtown police on child pornography charges, investigators were combing through his second home in Salisbury, Mass. It was a tip from Newtown cops that led officers to obtain a warrant to search Anderson’s second residence on November 14.

As a result, Salisbury Police Chief and former Branford, Conn., Deputy Chief Thomas Fowler told The Bee that a number of the pornographic images and/or videos discovered in two confiscated high capacity hard drives allegedly owned by Anderson were taken in a bathroom at that Bay State home.

Chief Fowler said an undetermined number of images among the “hundreds, possibly thousands” in evidence were taken at that residence and stored in the hard drives Anderson maintained. And other evidence gathered at the second home led his department, as well as Massachusetts State Police, to learn that Anderson had allegedly posed as a medical professional.

Using the Craigslist Internet classified site and other means, Chief Fowler said Anderson lured at least of 20 women identified so far to that residence under the guise of screening them for a medical research project. 

When contacted by investigators, Chief Fowler said some of the victims up to that point believed the so-called examinations Anderson was performing on them were legitimate. The chief said individuals from as far away as Seattle, as well as Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, have been identified through information on the phony questionnaires, and many were shocked to learn the truth about their visits to Salisbury.

It was not clear if any similar activities occurred in Connecticut, or any are under investigation, but Chief Fowler said both departments are seeking anyone who suspects they were victims of Anderson’s fake medical test solicitations to come forward.

Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe concurred, saying particularly adult victims who may hear of the case, may be embarrassed or unwilling to come forward because they feel duped by Anderson’s ruse. And the Newtown department is interested in hearing from anyone who may have visited the Anderson’s home either in Newtown or Salisbury, who suspect they or their children may be victims of a crime.

Anderson was staying at the Massachusetts residence when he was arrested by Salisbury officers earlier this week and charged with one count of possession of child pornography, and four counts of unlawfully recording a nude or partially nude person, the chief said.

The Newburyport District Court clerk’s office confirmed that Anderson pleaded not guilty to the charges at his November 10 arraignment. And Chief Fowler said he was still being held the afternoon of December 12 in lieu of $500,000 bond at the Essex County correctional facility in Massachusetts.

Chief Fowler said up until he was made aware by Newtown Police about the possible tie to his community, patrolled by a police force of just 14 officers including himself, Anderson was unknown to law enforcement in the area.

“He just wasn’t on our radar,” Chief Fowler said. “But in all my years of police work, this is the most bizarre case I have ever witnessed.”

He said while the criminal investigations play out in his community and in Newtown, there is a possibility that the Massachusetts State Crime Lab will develop images that may have been taken elsewhere, or that Anderson was engaged in the distribution of pornographic images.

“If he is involved in any widespread distribution, the FBI is also going to be interested in this,” he said.

Chief Kehoe said it is unusual for child predators to also victimize adults, and vise versa. As a result, he said the FBI’s behavioral services unit may be interested in interviewing Anderson about certain evidence developed by the two departments.

All police in Salisbury know now is that files on the hard drives include videos of young females, some he said who were “very young,” changing and undressing in a bathroom that was outfitted with one or more cameras. The files also include video and/or photographs connected to an unknown number of the “research examinations” that Anderson was said to have performed under his elaborate ruse.

The unraveling of the Anderson case began when five police responded to 3 Lafayette Trail about 9:10 am on November 6 following a request for a health/welfare check there. That day, police received a call from Anderson’s wife reporting that she feared for her safety, and telling police that she had asked him for a divorce.

She told police that as a result, several times he had threatened to harm her.

In the course of their investigation, police learned of a computer owned by Anderson that contained “numerous pornographic videos and images on the hard drive.”

The computer files contained dated and time-stamped videos and/or photographs of naked young females who did not appear to be aware that they were being filmed, according to the court papers. The images show the girls as they are exiting a shower in a bathroom, according to the court documents.

It was eventually determined by investigators that the shower was located at Anderson’s second home in Salisbury.

Besides images that were taken near the shower, the computer hard drive apparently contains hundreds of other pornographic images of children that appear to have been downloaded from the Internet, according to affidavit.

Eight days later, police arrested Anderson at Danbury Hospital where he was apparently being treated subsequent to the earlier incident. After his processing in Newtown, Anderson was released on $100,000 bail.

In court the following day, a judge kept his bail at $100,000 and did not restrict his travel according to Chief Fowler. This left him free to travel to his second home, where he was located on the morning of his second arrest.

According to the Newtown arrest warrant affidavit, the local charge stems from the computer discovered in Newtown, which contained multiple images considered to be child pornography as defined by Connecticut law.

At his November 15 arraignment in Danbury Superior Court, Anderson also pleaded not guilty to charges of third-degree possession of child pornography and disorderly conduct following his arrest by Newtown police. That same day, a judge issued three protective orders against Anderson, requiring that he have no contact with three unidentified persons.

Third-degree possession of child pornography is a Class D felony. Court records list Anderson’s Connecticut attorney as Dean L. Lewis.

(Newtown Bee Reporter Andrew Gorosko contributed to this report.)

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