Child pornography charges

Henry Hammen III, of Abingdon, is charged with 20 counts of prosessing child pornography. (Harford County Sheriff's Office, Patuxent Homestead / February 28, 2012)

An Abingdon man is facing 20 charges of possession of child pornography and a prison term of up to 100 years, if convicted on all counts.

Henry Vernon Hammen III, 31, of the 3200 block of Rock Creek Court, was indicted Feb. 14 in Harford County Circuit Court on 20 counts of possessing child pornography, dating to March 3 of last year, according to Maryland electronic court records.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

As part of an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI, Maryland State Police troopers seized three computers from Hammen's home. On those computers, investigators found more than 1,000 images of child pornography, according to Harford County Deputy State's Attorney Diane Tobin.


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Tobin said it would be too difficult to bring charges for all 1,000 images, and chose to prosecute the pictures that "very definitely meet the legal definition of child pornography. That's why I chose them," said Tobin, who was in charge of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center before her recent promotion to deputy in the state's attorney's office.

"That gives me enough time to work with to obtain a satisfactory outcome," Tobin said Monday.

A decision whether to bring charges at the federal level has not been made.

A warrant was issued Feb. 15 and Hammen was arrested a day later. His bail was set at $500,000, according to court records.

A corporate bond was then set at $300,000 after a District Court bail review on Feb. 21, according to court records. Hammen has since made bail and has been released from jail. A condition of his release is that he not use a personal or work computer at his home, Tobin said.

A Harford County Circuit Court scheduling conference is set for March 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com for more on this continuing story.