Man accused of molesting toddler indicted for child pornography

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A New Boston, Texas, man accused of sexually abusing a 2-year-old, female relative has been indicted for possession of child pornography.

Joseph Clinton Leatherman Jr., 28, was indicted by a Bowie County grand jury in September for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Leatherman is accused of sending sexually explicit photos of himself molesting the girl over the internet. Earlier in December, a grand jury indicted Leatherman for possession or promotion of child pornography.

Leatherman allegedly emailed five sexually graphic photos of himself with the child via AOL. AOL notified the Dallas Police Department about the offensive images after flagging the images Aug. 9, according to a probable cause affidavit.

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The images allegedly were sent by infantryman903@aol and were linked by investigators to Leatherman’s email account. They reportedly depict a man wearing unique camouflage underwear and the young girl in a sexual pose. The underwear, Leatherman’s body and hands, and an unusual birthmark on the child’s body were allegedly used to identify both suspect and victim.

Investigators allegedly found the distinctive underwear during a search of Leatherman’s home Aug. 11. A relative of Leatherman’s and the girl’s allegedly identified the child in the photos as well as Leatherman.

Leatherman’s first indictment charges him with aggravated sexual assault of a child, an offense punishable by a minimum of 25 to 99 years or life. Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said at a hearing earlier this year that the state is not offering a plea deal to Leatherman on that charge which includes an agreement for a sentence of anything less than life in prison.

The pornography charge is punishable by two to 10 years in prison.

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