Greenbelt, Maryland – Jonathan Oldale, age 54, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was arrested on April 13, 2018, based on a criminal complaint charging him with production of child pornography.
The arrest was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Police Chief Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
According to the complaint, the investigation of Oldale began when officers from the Montgomery County Police Department responded to Silver Stars Gymnastics and Fitness in Silver Spring, Maryland based on the report of a suspicious situation. An employee at the business had found a camera hidden inside a backpack in a restroom. The backpack had been placed under a wet floor sign directly in front of the bathroom’s only toilet. The camera itself was hidden inside a non-functioning automobile key fob. When the employee recovered the camera, it was hot to the touch and had a very small, illuminated light indicating the device was in the “on” position. Further investigation revealed that the backpack belonged to Oldale, and that the backpack had also been left in the bathroom three weeks prior.
In May 2017, the Montgomery County Police Department executed a search warrant at Oldale’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. A detective with the Montgomery County Police Department’s Electronic Crimes Unit completed a digital forensic examination of electronic evidence seized from the home. A program used to securely delete (i.e., “clean”) files from computers was discovered. The detective also identified installations of a browser that enables anonymous communication and access to the “dark web.” The distribution and sharing of child exploitation images and videos is one illegal activity known to take place on the “dark web.”
In addition, the forensic analysis uncovered various computer artifacts indicating that the user had accessed files with names indicative of child exploitation material. Forensic analysis also revealed references to a known, but then-defunct website from the “dark web” that had provided users access to child pornography. The website had been shut down by law enforcement in December 2016.
Based on this evidence, the Montgomery County Police Department executed a second search warrant at Oldale’s residence in July 2017. Cameras containing SD memory cards were seized from Oldale’s office. Subsequent forensic examination of the SD cards revealed hundreds of videos filmed in the bathroom of the residence. The videos show that multiple cameras were used simultaneously to record activities in the bathroom. The videos depict children taking off their clothes or bathing suits, taking showers, and getting dressed. At least 30 children were filmed. The videos also depict Oldale checking camera angles.
Further investigation by the Montgomery County Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that when children attended “splash parties” at Oldale’s residence, the children would become covered in grass. According to a witness, Oldale made children take showers before they went home.
Oldale faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for production of child pornography.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the Montgomery County Police Department and the FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Baldwin and Timothy Hagan, who are prosecuting the case.