Philadelphia Police officer arrested on child pornography charges

Philadelphia police Officer William Watts Sr. (Philadelphia Police Department) 

A Philadelphia police officer was arrested and charged for transportation and possession of child pornography, arising from his transmission over the internet of images of children being sexually abused, prosecutors announced.

According to the complaint, William Watts, Sr., 55, downloaded multiple files of child pornography from the internet application WhatsApp, including depictions of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts, some with adults. 

"As alleged in the Criminal Complaint, the defendant sought out videos of children being abused for his own gratification – thus adding to the demand for these types of images to be produced and more children to be victimized," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams. "The convenience and accessibility of digital images, coupled with the ease with which child sexual exploitation crimes can be concealed online, make these cases extremely difficult to investigate and prosecute. However, our Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to doing this difficult work in order to hold people like this defendant accountable, no matter their position in the community or occupation."

Watts was arrested Thursday morning after the FBI executed a federal search warrant at his residence. He will make his initial appearance in federal court Friday.

After completion of arrest processing, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw will suspend Watts for 30 days with the intent to dismiss at the end of 30 days.

If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison.

Watts is a 32-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and was last assigned to the 1st District.



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