Bellevue PD increases emphasis on child sex predators

Police say the number of crime-related tips have prompted the focus.

Bellevue police arrested a 64-year-old Bellevue man on child pornography charges early Wednesday morning (Sept. 11), Bellevue police said.

The man was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, said Meeghan Black, Bellevue Police Department spokesperson. The arrest was prompted by a several-month long investigation and a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Following the arrest, police searched his apartment in the 10700 block of Northeast 4th Street and confiscated a computer and other electronic devices during their investigation.

Police said another significant bust happened a little longer than a month ago, on July 31. Detectives with the Special Assault Unit arrested 23-year-old Elliott Butterworth on child pornography charges.

Detectives conducted a search in the 10200 block of Southeast 3rd Street and seized eight computers, several phones and multiple storage devices. King County Prosecutor’s charged Butterworth with both distributing and being in possession of child pornography.

Because of the increase of complaints related to child pornography, the police department has placed a greater emphasis on combating the crime, Black said. The department is dedicating additional resources and officer training to tackle the problem. And it said an increase in investigative hours will lead to more arrests.

“This is going to be an ongoing concentrated effort,” Black said. “We’re going to focus and dedicate more resources training and time to combating this horrific crime.”

Black said it’s hard to say how prevalent these crimes are, given that offenders operate on the dark web. However, tips do come in from other agencies including National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Seattle’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit — who sometimes identify suspects in Bellevue.

Sometimes tips come in from a friend, relative or loved one, who happen to spot child pornography on a computer. Police ask that anyone who sees disturbing images of children call 911 or report it on the Bellevue Police Department website.

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