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Former Editor of Leftist Political Site Arrested and Charged with Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

The prosecutor said it is “one of the most egregious cases” she has ever seen.

The former editor-in-chief of far-left political website The Recount has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.

Slade Sohmer, 44, of Massachusetts pleaded not guilty in the Southern Berkshire District Court on Monday. He worked as the editor of the website for four years, until just last month.

Sohmer was arrested at his home on Friday and is charged with two counts each of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to a report from The Berkshire Eagle. The Berkshire district attorney’s office is planning to seek additional charges, but the investigation is still ongoing due to the “extremely large number of pornographic materials found on the devices.”

The Boston Globe reports that Sohmer is also “accused of recording of a child he communicated with online.”

“During a search of Sohmer’s Otis home on Oct. 17, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force seized a phone from a nightstand that allegedly contained ‘hundreds of child phonography images and videos,’ including one of a young boy being raped by an adult, according to an affidavit filed in court,” the report states.

The investigation began after Snapchat contacted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s tip line in September 2022, saying that someone had used the app to send a video of a very young boy, who appeared to be 11 or 12 years old, performing a sexual act. The tip was sent to the Massachusetts State Police, who subpoenaed the IP address and eventually found that it led to Sohmer.

“Police also searched an account on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that they allege Sohmer was using to send child pornography, according to the affidavit,” the Globe reports. “Investigators found a ‘multitude’ of chat threads on the app in which ‘the topic of discussion revolved around sexual exploits of young boys,’ the affidavit says.”

According to the affidavit, Sohmer allegedly used the app to send 53 videos that were flagged as potential child sexual abuse. It also alleges that he used Telegram to discuss his desire to rape children.

“The affidavit alleges that Sohmer told someone on Telegram that ‘a couple years back’ he ‘baited’ a 14-year-old boy by posing as a teenage girl,” the report says. “Sohmer allegedly said he told the boy to meet him on a street corner, and the boy showed up — but Sohmer said he ‘chickened out’ and did not engage with him, the affidavit alleges.”

Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey said this was one of the most “egregious” cases she has seen.

Sohmer previously worked at a child’s summer camp in Pennsylvania and was celebrated by the liberal media for discussing his sexuality with the children there.

The News Movement, parent company of The Recount, said in a statement on Tuesday that Sohmer “is no longer Editor-In-Chief of The Recount following a company restructure exercise in early October to focus on our editorial and commercial plans.”

Sohmer has been released on $100,000 bail and has been ordered to stay offline and away from minors.

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