Washington County man accused of having child-porn images on computer

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - A Washington County man faces multiple charges for allegedly having several hundred images of child pornography on his computer.

Authorities charged Ryan J. Hamilton, 38, of Warren Township with five counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a juvenile after sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at his home on Wednesday.

He was arraigned Thursday morning in Marietta Municipal Court where a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 16.

He remains in the Washington County Jail on a $150,000 bond, and except for work reasons, he is not permitted access to the Internet or any social-media accounts. He also is not allowed to have any contact with males younger than 18.

Sheriff Larry Mincks’ office said the investigation began after deputies were contacted by a police detective in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, who said authorities there were investigating a case involving two 14-year-old boys who told them they had received money and gifts from Hamilton.

According to court documents, the detective told local deputies Hamilton had been communicating with the young boys via Snapchat.

Authorities subsequently obtained warrants for three Snapchat accounts and determined that between January and May of 2018, Hamilton had also communicated with several other young males besides the two in New Mexico and that many of the messages contained numerous graphic sexual references.

Local deputies said when they interviewed Hamilton he admitted having the images on his computer and knowing that some of the boys shown in those images were younger than 18.