EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 11, 2012

Salisbury man charged with child porn, secretly taping women

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — SALISBURY — A local man accused of posing as a health care provider and secretly videotaping women while conducting invasive personal examinations in his Salisbury Beach house is being held on $500,000 cash bail after his arraignment yesterday in Newburyport District Court.

David E. Anderson, 44, of 1 Sunset View Terrace, Salisbury, and 3 Lafayette Trail, Newtown, Conn., is also accused of secretly videotaping his naked adolescent female relatives visiting his beach house and possessing child pornography on at least one computer.

Anderson was arrested yesterday and charged with four counts of unlawfully recording a nude or partially nude person and one count of possession of child pornography based on accusations he videotaped his nude relatives.

Additional charges stemming from his luring unsuspecting women into his beach house and secretly videotaping them are likely to be filed, according to Essex County prosecutor Maura Bailey.

His alleged acts are believed to have possibly occurred over the course of several years

Authorities say Anderson is being investigated in other states, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington, for similar crimes alleged to have taken place.

In November, Newtown, Conn., police charged him with possession of child pornography and disorderly conduct based on alleged acts committed between 2011 and 2012. He was released on $100,000 bond. Asked if additional charges might be filed by Newtown police, a spokesman at the station declined to answer yesterday.

“It’s an ongoing and open investigation. It would be premature to say whether or not there will be any additional charges,” the spokesman said.

When asked about the Salisbury charges, he said: “There has been cooperation between the two departments.”

Local police first got wind of Anderson’s alleged activities after receiving a call from Newtown police officials who informed them that his estranged wife had stumbled upon nude video images of their female relatives taken in a downstairs bathroom at the beach house over the past summer. The victims, ranging in age from 10 to 13 years old, had no idea they were being videotaped, according to police.

Based on evidence collected by Newtown police, Salisbury police Detective Sgt. Anthony King obtained a search warrant for Anderson’s beach house computers and pick-up truck. Aided by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state police’s computer crime unit, local police seized two hard drives, which were sent to the state police’s Maynard forensics laboratory for analysis. The two hard drives contained thousands of video images of young women being examined, according to local police.

According to Salisbury police, Anderson would recruit women through Craig’s List and by the distribution of fliers around the community. These women would be paid between $25 and $50 to be examined by medical students for clinical research. As part of the process, Anderson said the women must allow him to conduct a baseline internal examination first. The examination, according to police, would include digital probing and other personal acts. To further fool unsuspecting victims, Anderson purchased medical devices such as a blood pressure monitor, tongue depressors, latex gloves, lubrication jelly, a stethoscope and a small pillow.

Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said his department has identified 20 victims so far and has collected thousands of images. Fowler is hoping that more victims will step forward now that Anderson has been arrested. It is unknown how many women Anderson is alleged to have victimized, but based on the scope of the investigation conducted by several states and the thousands of images collected so far, authorities are convinced it will be more than 20.

“I’ve never seen anything this bizarre,” Fowler said.

Determining how many women have been victimized and notifying them will likely be a Herculean task for local law enforcement officials, who admitted yesterday it could take a month or longer to sift through the two hard drives they seized plus the boxes of evidence turned over by Newtown police. Anderson may have been videotaping women for as long as four years based on a time stamp found on one of the thousands of images, according to King.

“We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg of reviewing the digital evidence,” King said.

At his arraignment yesterday, Bailey spoke in great detail of the web of lies and deceit spun by Anderson to lure the female victims to his beach house and the great lengths he took to purchase pin-sized cameras and set them up in the house. She spoke of his soon-to-be ex-wife who found the disturbing images of their nieces in a computer file titled “Friends and Family,” and how additional charges against Anderson would likely be filed. Bailey also said Anderson’s wife recently found a doctor’s bag and medical equipment, a box filled with pin cameras and fake receipts and questionnaires to be filled out by victims.

“Anytime we get another search warrant, we get more images,” Bailey said.

Court-appointed defense attorney Anthony Papoulias Jr. called Bailey’s bail demand excessive, arguing that since Anderson was released on bail last month, he hasn’t tried to flee the country and he has been accessible whenever needed.

“He didn’t try to hide,” said Papoulias, who instead asked for $10,000 cash bail. “I think a $500,000 bail is way over the top.”

But Judge Peter Doyle wasn’t convinced and seconds later agreed to the state’s $500,000 bail request. Should Anderson make bail, he will be required to stay away and have no contact with his alleged victims. He is due back in court on Jan. 7 for a probable cause hearing.

If found guilty of possession of child pornography, Anderson could be sentenced to five years in state prison and a $10,000 fine and would have to register as a sex offender with the state. The penalty for unlawfully recording a nude or partially nude person is up to 2 1/2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for each charge.

According to Anderson’s profile on the business networking site Powerprofiles.com, he is listed as a commercial photographer with a Shepard Hill Road address in Newtown. Other sites indicate that the commercial photography business is now closed.