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College Park mayor faces more than 50 counts of possessing and distributing child pornography

Former College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn (PGPD)

Former College Park Mayor Patrick L. Wojahn (PGPD)

The 47-year-old mayor of College Park, Maryland, was arrested this week and charged with more than 50 crimes for allegedly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Patrick L. Wojahn resigned from his mayoral post and was taken into custody on Thursday morning on 40 counts of possession of child exploitative material and 16 counts of distribution of child exploitative material, authorities announced.

According to a press release from the Prince George’s County Police Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) notified PGPD detectives last month that a social media account operating within the department’s jurisdiction “possessed and distributed suspected child pornography.”

The images and videos in question had been uploaded to a social media account in January, police said.

“Through various investigative techniques, PGPD investigators discovered the social media account belonged to Wojahn,” police said.

Detectives obtained and executed a search warrant on Tuesday at Wojahn’s residence in College Park. Investigators say they recovered several cell phones, a digital storage device, a tablet, and a computer.

Wojahn, who began serving on the College Park City Council in 2007 before being elected mayor in 2015, submitted his resignation to the council late Wednesday, effective immediately, according to a press release from the city.

During a press conference announcing the arrest, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said the investigation into Wojahn remains ongoing, and additional charges may still be filed.

“We send a clear message to anyone involved in this type of material that units like this are looking. They’re working every day to make sure that we have a safe county and a safe state,” he said.

In his resignation letter, Wojahn informed the city council that a warrant had been served on his home as part of an “ongoing police investigation” which did not involve “any official city business of any kind.”

He said his resignation was in the community’s best interest, so he would not be a distraction.

“Many of you have already reached out with well wishes and thoughts, and I am eternally grateful,” Wojahn wrote in closing the letter. “I am stepping away to deal with my own mental health.”

A special election will be held to fill the seat, officials said.

According to charging documents obtained by The Washington Post, following his arrest, Wojahn allegedly confirmed to detectives that the Kik account they were investigating for uploading CSAM — “skippy_md” — was his. He told investigators that he had viewed and possessed files depicting child pornography, according to the document.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.