Former editor-in-chief of El Recuento accused of child pornography

The former editor of a left-wing political news site has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, according to Massachusetts authorities.

Slade Sohmer, 44, who until last month was editor-in-chief of the video news site The Recount, was released Monday on $100,000 bail after being charged in a Massachusetts court with possessing and disseminating “hundreds of child pornography images and videos”, according to The Berkshire Eagle.

Sohmer, who also worked as a camp counselor for a New York City-based nonprofit, was arrested at his home in Otis, Massachusetts, on Friday, weeks after law enforcement officers confiscated his electronic devices. after obtaining a search warrant, the newspaper reported. .

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of dissemination of child pornography.

If convicted, Sohmer faces mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in state prison if convicted of dissemination of child pornography and five years if convicted of possession of child pornography.

Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey said this was one of the most “egregious” cases of its kind she has come across.

A spokesperson for The Recount’s parent company, The News Movement, told The Post that Sohmer “is no longer the editor-in-chief” of the site “following a company restructuring exercise in early October to focus on our plans.” editorial and commercial”.

Slade Sohmer, 44, who was editor-in-chief of online news site The Recount, has been charged with possession and dissemination of child pornography.
Slade Sohmer/Facebook

The Post has sought comment from Sohmer.

According to Sohmer’s LinkedIn page, his resume includes stints at SiriusXM Radio, HyperVocal, Mic and Beme, the now-defunct video news company that was once purchased by CNN.

His LinkedIn page also indicates that Sohmer since 2010 has worked as co-director at Camp Power, a nonprofit that “gives children in New York City’s most underserved and underfunded neighborhoods the freedom and encouragement that are often missing from their communities in the city. .”

Camp Power officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Court documents cited by The Berkshire Eagle allege that Sohmer’s phone contained disturbing video clips showing children, believed to be as young as three years old, being raped and forced to perform sexual acts by adults.

Authorities were alerted to Sohmer’s alleged leanings by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which reportedly informed the Massachusetts State Policy Cybercrimes Unit that someone sent a suspicious video on Snapchat in late September of last year.

Sohmer was released Monday on $100,000 bail by a Massachusetts judge.
Sohmer was released Monday on $100,000 bail by a Massachusetts judge.
Ryan Kobane/BFA/Shutterstock

The video allegedly shows a boy about 11 years old masturbating, according to court documents cited by The Berkshire Eagle.

Authorities later traced the video to an IP address that allegedly originated from Sohmer’s home Internet account, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

On October 18, Berkshire police seized electronic devices from Sohmer’s home in Otis. Investigators alleged that one of Sohmer’s phones was used to send 53 videos containing child pornography, according to the report.

Prosecutors also allege that Sohmer was filmed instructing a minor to perform sexual acts. The boy has since been identified, according to The Berkshire Eagle.

It was reported that Sohmer will likely face additional charges as a result of the child’s identification.

“We went from the mere dissemination of child pornography to the production of child pornography,” Shelvey told Southern Berkshire District Court Judge Danielle Williams on Monday.

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