EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 19, 2012

Local man jailed on child porn charges

Staff reports
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SALEM — A Georgetown man has been sentenced to 4 to 9 years in state prison after pleading guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography on his computer.

Timothy Vaters, 44, pleaded guilty Monday in Essex Superior Court to 21 charges related to child pornography.

Vaters was arrested in March 2011 after Canadian police reported that they had been tracking Vaters through a “peer to peer” network of child pornography sharing. Massachusetts State Police were issued a search warrant for his 59 Old Jacobs Road home and found that he had stored child pornography images on his computer.

Police also said that Vaters admitted that he had set up a secret video camera in his home to photograph an unsuspecting young girl. Police found the camera, along with about three ounces of marijuana stored in his basement.

In March 2011, Vaters was arraigned in Haverhill District Court and pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $10,000 bail. Subsequent investigation of the computers, hard drive and other media revealed thousands of images and video files containing suspected child pornography and significant evidence of distribution using peer-to-peer network technology.

An Essex County Grand Jury returned indictments against Vaters on June 24, and at his arraignment he pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, Vaters changed his plea to guilty on 10 charges of possession of child pornography, three charges of dissemination of child pornography, three charges of posing a child in a state of nudity, four charges of unauthorized video/photo of a person in state of nudity, and a single count of possession of marijuana.

Vaters has also been sentenced to five years of probation to be served after prison. The conditions of probation are GPS monitoring, sex offender counseling, no unsupervised contact with children under 16, restricted computer use and registration with the Sex Offender Registry Board.

“Our office is committed to protecting children from exploitation and we will continue to prosecute offenders of these crimes,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a prepared statement. “This defendant pleaded guilty to 21 indictments for his involvement with child pornography, a serious and disturbing offense, and will be serving time in state prison.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Kelly of Coakley’s Cyber Crime Division. The case 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 Digital Evidence Laboratory conducted an extensive forensic analysis of the evidence seized in the investigation.