Tumblr helps nab suspected Katy child sex abuser
Updated 9:15 pm, Tuesday, January 22, 2013
A tip from a social networking website led authorities to arrest a 37-year-old Katy man on charges of sexually abusing a pre-teen girl.
Richard Benjamin is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography and child sexual abuse and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, according to the Houston Police Department.
Police said Benjamin was arrested at his home Jan. 7. He is being held in the Harris County jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.
The investigation began when officials with Tumblr, a social networking website, recently noticed inappropriate activity on an account and reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Sgt. J.D. Philpot of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
Philpot said the center determined the account user had posted images about child abuse and chatted in graphic detail about sexually abusing a child.
The center contacted local authorities and the Houston-Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a multi-agency group, investigated the case.
Philpot said the Tumblr account was traced to an e-mail address that turned out to be associated with Benjamin.
When he was arrested, officials said, Benjamin admitted he had sexually abused the girl and claimed to be grooming her for more sexual abuse. Investigators said they found sexually inappropriate images of the child at his home, and numerous images of child pornography were found on his cellphone.