Special News 6 Mar 2023
On/or about 24 Feb 2023 the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau were made aware of an incident in Belpre, via the Belpre Police Department. The Belpre Police Department was notified of a thumb drive that had been left in a computer, which could have been accessed by a member group of individuals in the community. The thumb drive was turned over to the Belpre Police Department, and found to contain child pornography.
The thumb drive was reported to have been left behind by Charles E. Kelly. It was discovered that Kelly was the author of some children’s books as well. Assistance with digital forensics was requested and a search warrant was requested and received so that the analysis could be conducted. Numerous videos were located on the drive, with file names containing words such “incest, underage preteen, preteen hard core, incest rape, 13 real child porn” to name a few. Due to the video files being incomplete, detectives were unable to view them, however based on the titles, they appear to contain child pornography.
During the search of the flash drive, a homemade will in the name of Charles Kelly was located which states “all computer hard drives are to be reformatted where all my info is erased”.
Based on the aforementioned information, a search warrant for the residence of Charles E. Kelly, 38 Radabaugh Road, Warren Township, was requested and issued. Members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau, Belpre Police Department, and Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force executed the search warrant.
During the search of the residence, detectives found 360 grams of marijuana, multiple computers, cellphones, firearms, and printed out images of what appears to be child pornography.
The initial search of Kelly’s main computer, detectives found a file titled “pre-teen girls ************** to ******”. The file contained a video of two naked prepubescent females performing a sexual act. The video appeared to have been downloaded/reproduced onto Kelly’s computer on or about 7 Dec 2021.
Charles Earl Kelly, age 75, was arrested for possession of controlled substances, a 5th degree felony, and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, a 2nd degree felony. Kelly was transported to the Washington County Jail for processing. Additional charges may be forthcoming.
On 3 Mar 2023 Kelly appeared in Marietta Municipal Court and was given a $45,000 cash surety bond and PR. Kelly remains in the Washington County Jail.
The Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force combats Human Trafficking under the Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The task force is led by Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks and includes the Marietta City Police Department, Marietta College Police Department, Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, Noble County Sheriff’s Office, Noble County Prosecutor’s Office, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Police Department, Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, and the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office.