NEWBURY — A Bellingham man was ordered to stay away from anyone under 18 except for his own children after being arraigned Monday morning in Newburyport District Court on charges of sending obscene matter to a minor and distributing obscene matter.

Charles O’Brien, 50, of South Main Street was also ordered to stay off social media and internet chatroom sites after being released on personal recognizance. He is due back in court on Sept. 27 for a pretrial hearing.

While posing as a 13-year-old girl in an internet chatroom, Newbury police Detective Sgt. Aaron Wojtkowski received a message from O’Brien on Nov. 2, 2020. Very quickly, the chat turned sexual in nature despite O’Brien believing he was speaking to a teenage girl.

Over the next few days and weeks, O’Brien sent more messages detailing sexual acts he would like to perform on the teen. He also sent two sexually explicit photos to the inspector, according to Wojtkowski’s report.

“Given the overt sexual nature of the conversation and because target user believes he is talking to a 13-year-old child, a reasonable person would believe that the images sent by the target are obscene or harmful in nature to a child,” Wojtkowski wrote in his report.

Wojtkowski then contacted Google to preserve “all relevant data” related to O’Brien’s presence on the website. The detective later obtained a warrant to search O’Brien’s Google account. The search resulted in Wojtkowski being able to track down O’Brien’s computer internet protocol number as well as his name and age, according to Wojtkowski’s report.

Wojtkowski got another court order to look through the IP address to find O’Brien’s address. By doing so, the detective learned he lived in Bellingham.

In December 2020, Bellingham detectives drove to O’Brien’s home but could not find him. Police were able to reach O’Brien by phone and asked him to come to the station for an interview. O’Brien’s attorney showed up instead and told police his client would not make any statements.

“I learned that there are two minor children in the home,” Wojtkowski wrote in his report, adding that he contacted the state Department of Children and Families as required.

Based on his report, Wojtkowski charged O’Brien with sending obscene matter to a minor and distributing obscene matter.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is the editor of the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008. 

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