Walkerton man charged with having child porn

David Waun
Shawn McGrath
Staff Writer

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office filed multiple counts of possession of child pornography against a Walkerton man on Monday and said there could be more victims connected to a Walkerton church.

Prosecutors charged David J. Waun, 22, with four counts of having child porn – some depicting children 2 or 3 years old engaging in sex acts with adults. Each count is a Level 5 felony punishable by one to six years in prison if convicted.

The four charges are Level 5 felonies – instead of less serious Level 6 felonies – because all four counts allegedly involve children 12 or under, according to Indiana state law.

Waun was being held on $20,000 cash bond in the St. Joseph County Jail late Monday. He was arrested Thursday and will make an initial court appearance Wednesday, Sept. 19, in St. Joseph Superior Court I.

According to court documents and a prosecutor’s office news release:

An Indiana State Police investigator with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in April.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said it had received information from Google-owned YouTube that someone was trying to upload child pornography to the site.

The company was able to provide investigators with the person’s Internet Protocol address, essentially identifying the physical location of the computer being used to upload the child pornography.

Investigators were able to determine the child pornography was being uploaded from a Walkerton home. They searched the residence and identified Waun as a person of interest.

During questioning, Waun admitted to uploading the images. He said he uploaded them to YouTube so he could then download them to his cellphone.

Investigators had sought a $50,000 cash bond for Waun, deeming him a possible “substantial flight risk or a danger to himself or the community,” according to court papers.

Detectives said Waun “described several interactions he claimed to have had with young children of a sexual nature,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case. “During his interview, after describing encounters in detail, he then recanted and said police intimidated him into agreeing to the stories he just told. Some children he named have been interviewed and have not disclosed (alleged crimes) at this time.”

Waun also allegedly used his cellphone to film children playing at Antioch Baptist Church, 200 Maine St., Walkerton, where his father is pastor, as well as at the home of another local family. He said he was trying to “capture images of the children’s underwear during filming,” according to the affidavit.

The investigation continues, according to Jessica McBrier, the prosecutor’s office director of media relations, said in a news release.

“During the course of the child pornography investigation, officers became concerned that Waun may have surreptitiously placed a video recording device in at least one home,” she said in the release. “Additionally, Waun made statements that raised a concern that there may have been inappropriate physical contact between Waun and children at his family’s church …

“Because of those concerns,” McBrier continues, “the St. Joseph County Special Victims was asked to assist (in the investigation).”

Have a concern?
The St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit is investigating possible sex crimes connected to Antioch Baptist Church, 200 Maine St., Walkerton. Anyone with information or concerns should call (574) 235-7810, according to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.