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O’Neill held until trial

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A Fostoria man indicted on child pornography charges will remain in detention until his trial, a U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday.

Charles B. O’Neill, 58, 1023 Gerlock Drive, appeared before Judge James G. Carr in a detention hearing at the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Ohio in Toledo.

Carr ruled “there is no condition or combination of conditions that will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required and the safety of the community” and denied O’Neill’s motion for release, according to court records. O’Neill had filed a motion for a bond hearing on May 29.

Further, the court ordered O’Neill committed to the custody of the United States Attorney General, or a designated representative, for confinement to a corrections facility “separate, to the extent practical, from persons awaiting or serving sentences or being held in custody pending appeal,” state court records. In the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Ohio, O’Neill has entered a plea of not guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor (production) and one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography, according to court records.

O’Neill had been indicted by a Seneca County grand jury on two counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, one a second-degree felony and one a fourth-degree felony; and two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, one a second-degree felony and one a fourth-degree felony.

The criminal case in the county has been dismissed without prejudice, court records state.

According to a court official at the Seneca County Common Pleas Court, criminal cases at the local level often are dismissed without prejudice as a federal case moves forward because prisoners are not often transferred back to the county to appear before the local court when held at the federal level.

O’Neill was arrested March 21 on an arrest warrant out of the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Ohio.

The defendant had initially been arrested on Feb. 22 at his home after members of the Fostoria Police Division and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation conducted a search warrant at his Gerlock Drive residence. BCI utilized special agents from the Cyber-Crimes unit as well as Crimes Against Children unit, which helps local authorities investigate and prosecute those who commit crimes against children.

Concurrent with execution of the search warrant of his residence, O’Neill’s cellphone was located on his person and was previewed. Investigators located child pornography on his cellphone.

The search was executed after officers received information from the defendant’s family regarding alleged child pornography, according to an affidavit. The investigation was initiated by Sgt. William Campbell and Officer Corey Brian.

During an additional search at his barn located on Bairdstown Road, North Baltimore, a computer, CDs, DVDs, hard drives and USB storage devices were seized. Sexual paraphernalia, children’s costumes and other sex-related items were also found in the room, the affidavit states.

Video evidence of O’Neill performing sexual acts on a child were also recovered.

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