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Arrest made in child pornography case

Profile image for By Megan Gray-Hatfield
By Megan Gray-Hatfield

Police: Aubrey man exchanged explicit photos of minors

A recent arrest could be the first of its kind for Aubrey, law enforcement officials said Saturday.

Police charged Bruce Allen Trotter, 50, with possession or promotion of child pornography, a second-degree felony, on Thursday night and booked him into the Denton County Jail. Trotter posted $10,000 bail Friday and was released.

Sgt. David Bruce said he has been investigating Trotter since the department was contacted in May by the Dallas Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He said an officer reported that someone at a residence in the 600 block of Brockett Street appeared to have uploaded and downloaded 25 explicit images of children younger than 15.

“We have our fair share of family violence, sexual assaults and other crimes you would expect to see for a town our size,” Bruce said Saturday. “I just don’t recall ever having a case such as this on our hands before.”

During the investigation, police learned the suspect was linked to obtaining sexual images of children as young as 6 years old.

Trotter, according to an arrest affidavit, went by the name Mark Somerson online and had allegedly uploaded child pornography on a Tumblr account. During the investigation, police learned he had been emailing a woman purportedly named Louise Brown with a U.K.-based email address for several weeks. The emails obtained by investigators show the suspect expressing interest in wanting to have sexual relations with the woman’s infant daughter in a church Sunday school room.

In June, police served a search warrant at Trotter’s residence and seized eight cellphones, according to police records. When the search warrant was served, police said Trotter told them he had a “predilection” for females ages 6 to 12 and admitted to uploading and downloading pornographic images of subjects that he knew or believed to be under 14 years old.

Bruce said Trotter provided a voluntary statement at the police station in which he admitted to exchanging “underage pictures” and saving some on a cellphone.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

“We aren’t out to get anyone and are going to continue our investigation,” Bruce said. “We respect his constitutional rights, but want to serve justice where needed.”

The Department of Homeland Security, Flower Mound police and the Denton County Sheriff’s Office have assisted in the investigation, and Bruce said he is thankful for their help and due diligence.

Katherine Chaumont, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Dallas, said it’s up to the county district attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine whether any federal charges will be filed.

She declined to comment on how many similar cases filed by the state are also filed federally because “each case is different.”

“Right now, I can say that the matter is under investigation,” Chaumont said.

MEGAN GRAY-HATFIELD can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.