CLAREMONT — A 43-year-old Claremont man is accused of possessing sexual images of children and sharing them with others via social media, according to court documents.
Thomas Seaward was indicted last week on one felony count of possession of child sexual abuse images and two felony counts of distribution of child sexual abuse images. His arraignment on the charges is scheduled for April 15 in Grafton Superior Court.
The charges stem from an investigation police conducted last year after Seaward’s former roommate came to police saying he found sexually explicit images and videos of children on Seaward’s phone, according to an affidavit written by Claremont Police Detective Joshua Peavey. In November, police got a search warrant for Seaward’s phone and found the videos and photos, as well as 16 deleted images, many of them graphic, according to the affidavit.
When detectives questioned Seaward he told them he downloaded the photos off the “dark web” — a term referring to a collection of websites that are hidden from most internet users and law enforcement, and can only be accessed with a specific browser or computer program.
According to the affidavit, Seaward told police he also posed as a teenager on messenger apps to try and get people to send him more explicit images of children. Often, he used the apps to trade sexually explicit photos of children with other anonymous users, the affidavit said.
Seaward was charged in late November but wasn’t indicted on the charges until last month, according to court documents.