Bel Air man facing child porn charges

CRIME WATCH

May 10, 2006|By MATTHEW DOLAN

A laptop computer containing child pornography that was sold to a pawn shop has led to the indictment of a Harford County man on federal child abuse charges, prosecutors said yesterday.

Brian Edward Dotson, 45, of Bel Air was charged with sexually exploiting a 5-year-old girl by using her to produce child pornography and possession of materials showing a underage girl engaged in sex. If convicted, he would face a mandatory prison sentence of at least 15 years.

Dotson had an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday. He already was in state custody on charges connected to the same case.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI on March 23, Dotson pawned a laptop computer at Starlite Coin & Pawn in Edgewood for $150 on Sept. 23. The pawn shop owner sold and shipped the computer to his brother in Michigan, court papers say.

The brother discovered still and video images stored in the computer, images that that showed an adult male engaging in sex with a young girl, investigators say.

Hassan Hamdan, the pawn shop owner, contacted the Harford County Sheriff's Office and retrieved the computer from his brother, according to authorities.

After examining the images, a county sheriff's detective said he recognized the adult male as Dotson. A cartoon-character tattoo on Dotson's left bicep also appeared in some of the videos, court papers say.

According to the complaint, the girl's parents identified their daughter in the video and said she had visited Dotson's apartment. The daughter later described sexual encounters with Dotson in an interview with a Child Protective Services worker, court papers say.

On Dec. 8, the Harford County Sheriff's Office charged Dotson with sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree rape. He has been held without bond.

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