Man Accused of Taking Pornographic Photos of Autistic Boy

A Woodstock man accused of taking pornographic photos of an autistic 13-year-old boy has been arrested on federal charges.

Authorities said Ryan Harding, 28, of Woodstock, worked at an organization that provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and that is how he had access to the victim.

Federal authorities are not identifying the organization Harding worked for, but said he had unsupervised access to autistic boys for hours at a time.

He would take children out into the community as a form of treatment, according to authorities. Some of the children are nonverbal.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims that Harding drove the 13-year-old boy to a convenience store on October 14, went into the restroom with him and use his iPhone 5 to take sexually explicit photographs of the child. 

Harding was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint and charged with production, receipt, and possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Harding downloaded child pornography between July 16 and October 30 through an online peer-to-peer file sharing program and authorities found 1,043 photos and 144 videos of child pornography on his laptop and thumb drive.

He told investigators that he gets sexually aroused while looking at child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

Harding appeared in court today and is being detained.

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