By THE TIMES STAFF
LINCOLNâ€”The State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested a 21-year-old local man Wednesday on charges related to the alleged child molestation of an 11-year-old Coventry boy, according to Col. Steven G. Oâ€™Donnell, state police superintendent.
Andrew King, 21, of 1583 Old Louisquisset Pike, was arrested on charges of first-degree child molestation, second-degree child molestation, indecent solicitation of a child and possession of child pornography following an investigation of a complaint received by the Coventry Police Department, Oâ€™Donnell and Coventry Police Chief Bryan Volpe reported.
The complaint, received by the Coventry Police Department on Monday, alleged the indecent solicitation of a child by a complainant reporting her 11-year-old had received numerous suspicious text messages from King.
The cellphone involved was analyzed by the Task Force members after consent was obtained from the boyâ€™s mother and revealed numerous texts between the child and King, according to Oâ€™Donnell. The content of the texts indicated that sexual images had been exchanged but deleted at the direction of King, according to police.
The Task Force conducted additional interviews and investigative efforts, which lead to the execution of a search warrant and arrest warrant at Andrew King's residence, Oâ€™Donnell said.
King was arraigned in Third Division District Court and ordered held without bail at the ACI pending a bail hearing scheduled for April 22, Oâ€™Donnell said.
The penalty for first-degree child molestation is a sentence of not less than 25 years, according to Maj. Todd Catlow, state police detective commander.
A person found guilty of second-degree child molestation may be imprisoned for not less than six years and not more than 30, according to Catlow, and a person found guilty of indecent solicitation of a child could face at least five years in prison.
Possession of child pornography is punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000, or a maximum prison sentence of five years, or both, according to Catlow.
The Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force actively engages in investigative efforts to identify subjects involved in child exploitation-related activities.
The Rhode Island ICAC Task Force is comprised of members of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Coventry, Warwick, Pawtucket, Jamestown, Woonsocket, North Kingstown, Portsmouth and Bristol police departments and special agents from Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service.