PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) A photographer for a Philadelphia radio station's popular children's program is facing federal child pornography charges.
Inside 57-year-old Mark Wilkens’ Northeast Philly apartment on Rising Sun Avenue, authorities say, they found several thousand photos of children, many of them sexually explicit images.
“And so he would start by taking full photos of the face and body and then eventually zoom in on their genitals and create sexually explicit photographs,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rotella.
According to investigators, Wilkens had access to children through his volunteer position as a photographer for children events sponsored by WXPN events at places like the Morris Arboretum, the Franklin Institute. and the Camden Children's Garden.
“Many times events involved water the parents would bring their kids there in bathing suits. He was interested in very young children,” said Rotella.
Wilkens, had allegedly been taking the lewd photos for the past five years. Investigators say he was caught when he was trying to develop prints at a store.
The FBI and Philadelphia police arrested Wilkens at his apartment Friday morning. They noted he lived in close proximity to several day care centers.