In August 2017, Indiana authorities arrested a 50-year-old Merrillville man for two counts of child molestation and one count of sexual misconduct with a minor. He posted a $3,000 bond almost two months later and returned to his Cedar Lake home. Now, according to Lake County court records, 50-year-old David W. Hatton received four felony possession charges of ‘child pornography’ for accessing child abuse content on the darknet.
Hatton allegedly sexually assaulted a girl younger than 14, court records from his 2017 case revealed. He spent a little more than one month in jail on the child molestation and sexual misconduct charges. In October, the alleged pedophile managed to post his $3,000 cash bond and return to his home. The recent arrest occurred while the man was still out on bail for molesting a child.
Indiana police responded to a report that Hatton likely had child abuse material on the computers in his house. The report claimed that someone had good reason to believe that Hatton “may have child pornography and photographs” on one or more computers at his Cedar Lake home. In the police’s probable cause affidavit, officers wrote “he ran Lennox [sic] on it so he could access the dark web.”
The identity of the witness has not been revealed. It seems, however, that Hatton told the witness that he had accessed the child abuse content via the darknet. The police left the 50-year-old’s house with several computers that belonged to Hatton.
Investigators proceeded to analyze the contents of the computer. They reported finding 76 pictures and 73 videos on only one of the man’s hard drives. The content depicted children “who appear to be less than 12 years of age.” The videos showed the children being raped or performing ‘sexual acts’ while “under force or threat of force.” Furthermore, investigators managed to recover Hatton’s deleted files and erased web browsing history that dated back to 2013. That content also revealed more of the same. Mainly young girls being forced into sexual scenes by much older men.
In March, Hatton was charged in Lake County court with four counts of possession of ‘child pornography’ and subsequently placed in the Lake County Sheriff’s Department jail. He was not afforded bond. According to the Chicago Tribune, Hatton will soon appear before the Lake Superior Court on the new charges. If the investigators have finished digging illegal child abuse content from Hatton’s computer, the investigation may be complete.
Given the fact that investigators managed to extract ‘deleted’ information from one of Hatton’s hard drives, the chances that they will uncover something on his second hard drive are high. The anonymous witness may not have finished exacting justice on Hatton either.