Nazareth Man Facing 100 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography
Christopher Rothrock, 45, allegedly exchanged explicit text messages with a 12-year-old girl; police then discovered several videos and thousands of images of child pornography in his possession.
After it was reported to the Nazareth Borough Police Department that a 45-year-old borough man exchanged explicit text messages with a 12-year-old girl, the ensuing investigation led police to several videos and thousands of images of child pornography in his possession.
Christopher Rothrock, of the 300 block of Belvidere Street, was arraigned Thursday morning before District Judge John Capobianco and charged with 100 counts of sexual abuse of children – possession of child pornography, one count of corruption of minors, and one count of criminal solicitation.
He is free on $75,000 unsecured bail.
Rothrock, who lives with a woman and her daughter, faces a maximum of $45,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison if found guilty on all charges.
Capobianco ordered Rothrock to not have any contact with the 12-year-old girl or her family.
"Not a problem," Rothrock said.
Police Chief Thomas Trachta, however, told Capobianco that Rothrock had "indirect contact" with the 12-year-old girl over the summer.
When asked if he has any drug or alcohol problems, Rothrock said, "No, but it might start."
In addition to no contact, Capobianco also ordered Rothrock to a mental health evaluation and to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
“This arrest was the result of outstanding police work by Officer Jacob Abel, who conducted this long-term investigation [that] started in Feb. 2011,” Trachta said in a prepared statement.
According to court documents:
Abel was contacted on Feb. 14, 2011 by the parents of the juvenile when they found inappropriate text messages on their daughter’s cell phone. The messages were sent on Feb. 13.
In addition to calling police, the juvenile’s father also called Rothrock on Feb. 14 to discuss the text messages. Rothrock allegedly told him that “it (text messaging) got out of control” and “he got over excited.”
Abel found that Rothrock had contacted the juvenile 25 times through text and picture messaging. Two of the text messages said, “I would keep you warm and cozy” and “I would reach under the covers and rub you all over.”
Rothrock also asked the girl to send him pictures of her exposed stomach area.
After police obtained a search warrant, Rothrock’s cell phone was sent to the Northampton County District Attorney’s office for examination.
Det. Barry Golazeski found two deleted pictures of the girl, but no text messages were recovered from the phone.
Golazeski was able to see that Rothrock searched -- using his smartphone -- for “preteen nude girls” and “10 & 12 yo nude girls.”
Another search warrant was obtained on March 18. Officers seized several items from Rothrock’s home, including his computer, a flash drive, an SIM card, a compact disc, and several other related items, which were then sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crime Laboratory.
The report from State Police indicated they found several video files and thousands of image files depicting child pornography.
On Jan. 11, 2012, Rothrock admitted that he did possess child pornography. The court documents do not say if Rothrock admitted to text messaging the girl.