Baltimore prosecutor shared child porn over secure chat program, police say

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A Baltimore prosecutor told police who raided his home Tuesday that he regularly shared images of child pornography online, investigators wrote in charging documents.

Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Moran was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.


Moran, a father of three, was a supervisor in the juvenile division of the Baltimore state's attorney's office. The office says he is no longer employed there.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped Baltimore County police in July that a picture had been uploaded to a secure chat program called "Chatstep" from an IP address later connected to Moran's Nottingham address, investigators wrote. They obtained a search warrant Monday.


Investigators said Moran told them he had used Chatstep for several years. A cursory search of two laptops and a hard drive revealed pictures of clothed or partially clothed children, police said.

Moran told police he had used the name "Ashley" on the website "for no particular reason," police wrote.

Police said they collected computers and storage devices from the home and asked Moran if there were any others. He said there was a storage device in a drawer that had "a lot" of images, and police found files depicting children between 3 and 16 years old having sex.

Moran posted $150,000 bail and has been released from jail pending trial. State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said her office was working with investigators.