WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A Springfield fast food worker allegedly confessed to police that he had been storing sexual images of children on his cell phone.
Rodney Holton, 55, of Springfield pleaded innocent to a single felony count of possession of child pornography before he was released from the courthouse this week on pre-trial conditions, including a court order that he not have any intentional contact with minor children while his case is pending.
Holton, whose prior criminal history consists of drunk driving offenses, now faces a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in jail and registration as a sex offender if he were to be convicted of the felony charge pending against him.
Detective Sergeant Daniel Trottier of the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that a tip from Google about inappropriate photos being stored on their Google Photo servers from an account based in Vermont was relayed to him through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The detective said that after he traced the account to Holton he went to speak with him at the restaurant where Holton works. He wrote that Holton initially claimed that he'd been sent unsolicited explicit images during the course of on-line chats, sometimes by the underaged girls themselves and on one occasion by an “Arab man.” Holton also claimed all of the material had been deleted months beforehand, the detective wrote.
Detective Trottier said that Holton changed his tune when he was told that police already had access to his Google account and had a warrant to search his house. Holton then allegedly admitting that he currently had child pornography images stored on his phone, according to the affidavit.
“Holton later clarified the he had between 100 and 500 images of children on his phone and that the youngest child he had an image of was 5 years old,” Detective Trottier wrote, adding “He also advised that these images depicted underage children in both lewd poses and participating in sexual acts.”
“He advised that he knew it was wrong to do it but (he said) things were not going well at home and that he was experiencing depression,” the detective added.
Police then went to Holton’s residence and seized three other cell phones and a tablet which Holton allegedly confessed contained “similar content.” Those items will be sent to a state crime lab to be forensically examined by computer experts at a later date.
Detective Sgt. Dan Trottier takes his handcuffs off of Rodney Holton at the conclusion of Thursday's arraignment
Vermont News can be contacted at email@example.com