Md. man pleads guilty to recording children in his bathroom

WASHINGTON — A Maryland man accused of secretly recording kids using his bathroom pleaded guilty to charges of possessing and producing child pornography Wednesday.

Jonathan Mark Oldale, 55, of Chevy Chase, pleaded guilty Wednesday. He’ll be sentenced April 1, 2019, and if the court accepts the plea agreement he’ll be sentenced to between 15 and 25 years, federal and Montgomery County prosecutors said in a statement.

Oldale was arrested Oct. 18, 2017, after he was connected to a backpack with a hidden camera that was found in the bathroom of Silver Star Gymnastics, in Silver Spring, Maryland, May 5 of that year.

No videos of children in the gym were found. But police searched Oldale’s home several days later and found computers, video cameras and memory cards that linked him to child pornography. In July of that year, they searched his home again and found more child pornography, recorded between May and July 2017, the prosecutors said.

Oldale invited children to “splash parties,” the prosecutors said, in which the kids would get covered in grass playing in the backyard. Oldale would suggest the children take showers in his bathroom before going home, and he surreptitiously recorded 84 of them, for a total of about 1,000 videos, the prosecutors said in the statement.

In November 2017, parents at a community meeting in Chevy Chase were disappointed about the lag between the first discovery of the video camera and Oldale’s arrest. Police told parents he was served with a search warrant days after the camera was discovered, and thus was aware for months of police’s intense interest in his activities. Police Capt. Paul Liquorie said at the time that forensic digital examinations take time, and there is a backlog of work, including involving cases of violent crime.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

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