Philip Wilmoth, Robert Carroll, and Joshua Bickelhaupt, all of Broward County, Florida, were arrested last week on charges of possession of child pornography, press sources indicate. Wilmoth, 53, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on 23 counts of possession of child pornography; Carroll, 60, was booked into the same jail on 26 similar counts. Bickelhaupt, also at Broward Main Jail, faces three counts of possession. Wilmoth’s bail bond was set at $150,500 and Carroll’s at $260,000; Brickelhaupt’s is not yet known. It is also unclear whether any of the defendants have retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children explained the dangers of child pornography following these recent arrests. A spokesperson from the organization said each time a person pays for or downloads child pornography, “it’s a re-victimization.” Purchasing and downloading the material is not only illegal, it increases demand for the illicit material and supports widespread victimization. The spokesperson from the organization also said it is dangerous to assume people who look at child pornography can be picked out based on financial status or physical appearance.
Detectives arrested Wilmoth Wednesday after he left his cell phone on a public bus, reports say. A passenger located the phone and opened certain files in an alleged attempt to find out who the owner was. She then reportedly located files that might have depicted children in sexual situations, sources say. The passenger handed the phone over to authorities, who, in turn, traced it back to Wilmoth. The South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force led the investigation.
Detectives arrested Carroll at his home in Lauderhill on Friday, reports say. Following his arrest, he denied any involvement in the sharing of illicit pornography. Police arrested Bickelhaupt Tuesday at his home in Pompano Beach. Unlike in Wilmoth’s case, is unclear what circumstances led to Carroll and Bickelhaupt’s arrests.
In other news related to the victimization of children, William Currier of West Palm Beach, Florida was arrested Friday after he was accused of sexually abusing two underage sisters, reports indicate. Currier, 20, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual battery on a victim under the age of 12. A bail was not set and it is not yet known whether Currier has retained legal representation.
Reports say the two victims, who public reports did not identify, told their mother about the alleged abuse in April. The victims claimed that Currier molested them while he babysat them on various occasions. One victim, who reports say was 12 at the time, alleged that Currier would climb into bed with her while she slept and perform sexual acts on her, reports say. The other victim accused Currier of similar practices, reports indicate. She alleges that Currier would get into bed with her when she was asleep and rape her as she lay in bed. During a police interview, Currier reportedly confessed to touching the victims but said he never had sex with either of them.