Melrose man facing charges, allegedly had hundreds of child sex abuse videos on his computer

Crime

Patrick Baxter, 42, allegedly stored over 400 videos depicting child sexual abuse on an external hard drive.

A Melrose man has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography after investigators allegedly found hundreds of child sex abuse materials in his home, according to officials. 

Patrick Baxter, 42, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins’ office. Baxter was detained after an initial appearance in federal court in Boston Thursday, pending a yet-to-be-scheduled detention hearing.

Prosecutors say Baxter downloaded child sexual abuse material from the internet on two occasions — once in June 2021 and again in July 2021. Investigators said they seized a computer hard drive at Baxter’s home that allegedly contained approximately 427 video files depicting the child sex abuse. 

The charge of receipt of child pornography carries a sentence of between five and 20 years in prison, at least five years, and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was brought as part of a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse, Rollins’ office said.

Created by the Department of Justice in 2006, Project Safe Childhood tracks down and prosecutes perpetrators of child exploitation. The project also aims to identify and rescue child sex abuse victims.

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