On Monday November 13th Slade Sohmer (East Otis, MA) was arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court. Mr. Sohmer was charged with:
- 2 counts: Possession of Child Pornography
- 2 counts: Dimensions of Child Pornography
The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force* opened an investigation into the Defendant on June 16, 2023, following a CyberTip** from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Law enforcement conducted a search warrant on October 17, 2023, and seized Mr. Sohmer’s phones and multiple electronic devices.
The Task Force is utilizing the Berkshire District Attorney’s State Police Detective Unit’s digital evidence lab to process the devices; however, due to the extremely large number of pornographic materials found on the devices, the investigation remains ongoing. It is expected that additional charges will be brought once the devices have been fully processed.
At this point in the investigation, the Task Force has discovered over a thousand pornographic images and videos. Hundreds of which include child pornographic images and videos. The pornographic material includes the rape of minors as young as approximately three to four years old. Thus far at least one child pornographic video was produced by Mr. Sohmer.
The sum of pornographic material above does not include additional images and videos believed to be on various messaging apps including Telegram Messenger and Snapchat.
The Task Force also uncovered messages between Mr. Sohmer and a second individual in 2021 on the Telegram Messenger app. The messages include many chats strategizing how to lure, kidnap and rape children. Some messages go into graphic detail about how to facilitate the rape of a child. Additionally, the chats between the two individuals include an exchange additional child pornographic videos and images.
Defense requested bail be set at $75,000. The Commonwealth requested cash bail of $100,000. Bail was set at $100,00 cash with following conditions:
- No access to the internet
- Notify probation of location
- No contact with children under the age of 18
First Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey is representing the Commonwealth.
*The Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force is a law enforcement collaborative between local police departments, the Berkshire County Sherriff’s Office and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.
**CyberTips are issued by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children. Since the Cyber Tipline’s inception in 1998, the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children have received millions of reports and reviewed hundreds of millions of images and videos of suspected child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in an effort to locate exploited children and help law enforcement rescue them from abusive situations.