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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 31, 2018

East Providence Resident Detained for Allegedly Receiving and Possessing Child Pornography Allegedly Sent by a Cranston Man

PROVIDENCE - An East Providence man was ordered detained in federal custody today on charges he received and possessed images of child pornography, allegedly sent to him by a Cranston man who was ordered detained in federal custody on August 22, 2018, on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.

It is alleged that on at least three occasions in March and April 2018, Charles P. Chavis, 51, received and retained images of child pornography, allegedly sent to him by Robert E. Soares, 38, of Cranston.

According to court documents, Soares was arrested and charged by Cranston Police on May 27, 2018, after he allegedly forcibly confined and kidnapped his girlfriend, exposed himself to others, and engaged in fighting and violent behavior. A subsequent investigation by Cranston Police determined that in the weeks leading up to his arrest, Soares allegedly persuaded a 14-year-old girl to allow him to take several photographs and a video of her dressed only in her underwear.

A court-authorized search of Soares’ cell phone resulted in the discovery of a series of messages sent and received by Soares allegedly discussing photographs depicting child pornography. It is alleged that several of the messages, some allegedly including photographs depicting child pornography, were sent to Chavis by Soares.

Chavis’ initial appearance in federal court before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on a criminal complaint charging him with receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist, and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise M. Barton.

The matter is being investigated by the Cranston Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Warwick and East Providence Police Departments.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-111
Updated August 31, 2018