A Maryland judge reportedly killed himself as FBI agents arrived at his home to arrest him for sexually abusing children.
Caroline County Circuit Judge Jonathan Newell, 50, was placed on administrative leave in July for allegedly installing a hidden camera at his hunting cabin to secretly take photos of young boys.
The Baltimore Sun reports that a boy that Newell took on a hunting trip on Hoopers Island found the hidden camera in the bathroom on July 23, and his parents reported it to police. When investigators confronted him about it, the judge chewed up and swallowed the memory card, according to the criminal complaint.
“A neighbor of Newell posted pictures on Facebook saying the FBI was outside his Henderson, Md. home asking him to come out over a loudspeaker. The neighbor, Kimberly Keith, said that she heard flash bangs and what she believed to be gunshots, and later an ambulance,” the Sun report states.
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Parents of two of the boys that Newell took on the trip hired attorneys and put in a no contact request against him last month.
According to the Sun, the request “asked that he stay away from the boys’ school and associated events, and warned that any contact will result in the parents contacting Maryland State Police for ‘potential witness tampering.’”
Several of the boys who went on trips with the judge told investigators that he would “check their bodies for ticks” in that bathroom.
“At least two of the males stated they were naked when Newell checked them for ticks — one stated that he moved his own genitalia for Newell to look for ticks, and the other initially did not recall if Newell touched his genitalia, but later stated that Newell once or twice moved the minor’s genitalia to look for ticks,” FBI Special Agent Rachel Corn wrote in the complaint.
Searches of his home, truck and judicial office turned up a hard drive containing videos of boys showering.
His neighbor told the Sun that rumors about the ongoing investigation were “very well known around here.”
“All he ever posted on Facebook was about boys,” she said.