Attorney General Beau Biden on Tuesday marked the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is recognized nationally each April, by announcing the recent indictments of two Millsboro men on child pornography charges following an investigation by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force.
Biden said the indictments are the latest in the task force’s six-year effort to protect kids from sexual abuse at the hands of predators who create, possess and distribute child pornography and who use the internet and other technology to solicit and exploit child victims.
“Every time an image or video of child pornography is exchanged and viewed it re-victimizes the child,” Biden said, noting that Task Force investigations commonly reveal hundreds, even thousands, of images in the possession of individuals charged with child pornography offenses. “It takes the continued vigilance and specialized investigative techniques of our Child Predator Task Force to track down predators who would harm kids. We also cooperate closely with law enforcement agencies from across the country to identify abused children who are depicted in explicit videos and images and work to ensure that they are safe.”
Delaware’s Child Predator Task Force works collaboratively with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to identify child victims so that law enforcement can locate and rescue them from exploitive situations.
Delaware investigators and law enforcement agencies from across the country submit copies of seized child pornography videos and images to NCMEC, whose analysts review the copies to determine which images contain previously identified child victims. NCMEC has reported that over the last decade its Child Victim Identification Program analysts reviewed more than 77 million images and videos.
During the investigation that led to last month’s indictments, Delaware Child Predator Task Force detectives obtained several files containing child pornography and identified a person of interest. As a result, a search warrant was executed on Jan. 31 at a residence on the 200 block of Main Street in Millsboro by Task Force Detectives, a detective from the Delaware State Police Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit, and Millsboro police officers.
According to the AG’s Office, multiple computers, a cell phone, storage devices and other digital evidence were seized and the person of interest, who was in the residence at the time, was taken to DSP Troop #4 for further investigation.
Based on the evidence, Harry K. Roche, 42, was arrested and charged with 24 counts of dealing in child pornography. He was arraigned via videophone by JP Court #2 and was taken to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Institution where he remained in custody this week, for lack of $600,000 secured bail. The AG’s Office noted that Roche was already listed on the Delaware Sex Offender Registry (https://desexoffender.dsp.delaware.gov) as a result of a 2004 child pornography conviction.
During the Jan. 31 search of Roche’s apartment, they added, two external hard drives were seized and later connected to the second occupant of the residence who at that time was not a person of interest in the investigation. A forensic examination of those devices revealed multiple images of young boys that were identified as child pornography.
Based on that evidence, detectives returned to the apartment on Feb. 12 and made contact with Mark A. Stramacchia, 49, who was taken to DSP Troop #4 for further investigation. Based on the evidence, Stramacchia was charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, arraigned via videophone by at JP Court #2 and taken to Sussex Correctional Institution, where he remained in custody, for lack of $250,000 secured bail.
Roche and Stramacchia were indicted on March 18 by the Sussex County Grand Jury — Stramacchia to 25 counts of Dealing in Child Pornography and Roche to 24 Counts of Dealing in Child Pornography.
Learn more about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Child Victim Identification Program at http://www.missingkids.com/CVIP.