Ex-Montana cop admits distributing child porn on Facebook

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A former Montana police chief admitted to using Facebook to distribute child pornography, federal prosecutors said.

William Daly Harrington, who resigned from the East Helena Police Department in March, pleaded guilty Tuesday to using Facebook Messenger in 2019 to share sexually explicit images of children, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Montana.

Court documents show a member of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force got a tip in September 2020 that Facebook Messenger had reported one of its accounts was sharing child porn.

A subsequent investigation revealed the account belonged to Harrington, who became East Helena’s top cop in 2019. He previously served as the interim police chief and had been on the force for more than a decade, KXLH reported.

Prosecutors said account records showed Harrington, 43, sent 11 images, some of which depicted child porn, using Facebook Messenger on Dec. 17, 2019.

Authorities in January searched Harrington’s home in Lewis and Clark County and seized his cellphone, which also contained images and videos of child porn.

The disgraced cop admitted at the time that he owned and used the Facebook Messenger account, federal prosecutors said.

A criminal complaint shows Harrington shared one explicit image of a girl who was about 10 years old. The images were sent to another Facebook account belonging to his girlfriend, court records show.

Former East Helena Police Chief William Daly Harrington
Harrington became East Helena’s top cop in 2019.
Courtesy of William Harringto

Harrington’s account had used a fake name, federal prosecutors said following his initial court appearance in May.

Harrington faces a mandatory minimum of five to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release when he’s sentenced in April. He was freed from custody Tuesday after pleading guilty, prosecutors said.

East Helena city officials put Harrington on leave in February after he was accused of sexual assault. He resigned from the department in March, KXLH reported.

With Post wires

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