Feds: New Bedford police officer arrested after 194 child porn files found on computer

NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - A New Bedford police officer has been arrested on child porn charges after he admitted to using peer-to-peer file-sharing software to trade child pornography, officials said.

Paul Hodson, 42, of Achushnet, was arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Boston on one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced.

Officers executing a search warrant at Hodson’s home conducted an on-scene forensic preview of his computer and allegedly found 194 child pornography files, including one that had been distributed to an undercover officer during the investigation.

When federal agents asked Hodson if he knew why they were at his home, he nodded and said they would find child pornography on a laptop in the basement, according to an affidavit. Many of the files are said to have shown underage girls performing sex acts with other kids and adults.

Court documents indicate Hodson’s wife and their 6-year-old child were in the home during the raid.

Hodson’s wife allegedly told the agents that he had claimed the downstairs computer was broken and couldn’t be used.

Hodson returned to court Thursday and a judge ordered that he remain jailed.

After 19 years of service, Hodson has been pulled off the job.

In a statement, the New Bedford Police Department said it was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations against Hodson.

“The New Bedford Police Department is deeply disturbed by these serious allegations against one of our officers. NBPD officials have been in communication with the Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s office regarding the charges. The Department has also initiated an internal investigation. Per department policy, he has been placed on paid administrative leave due to the charges against him,” the statement said.

Hodson could face up to 40 years in prison if found guilty.

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