The former editor-in-chief of news website The Recount, Slade Sohmer, was found with hundreds of images and videos depicting child sexual abuse, including at least one video he produced himself, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's office. Investigators said in the official court documents that they found harrowing footage showing boys as young as four being raped and abused by adults. One showed an 11-year-old masturbating. Sohmer was also purportedly caught instructing a minor to perform sex acts.
The investigation is ongoing, with more charges anticipated, per prosecutors, citing the "extremely large amount of pornographic material found on devices" that were seized from Sohmer this past week. The tip was received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Did Slade Sohmer "Debunk" Pizzagate?
The news has since gone viral on X (formerly Twitter), and users are suggesting that Sohmer himself debunked pizzagate. While Sohmer did seem to be acquainted with Hillary Clinton's former chairman, John Podesta, there aren't any articles to be found by Sohmer about the topic. It is unknown whether or not he ever wrote pieces about pizzagate or if Google is suppressing certain material.
People may be mistaking him for a former ABC journalist named James Gordon Meek, who called pizzagate a "conspiracy theory" and was later arrested on pornography charges.
In 2017, Podesta thanked Slade for an article that he wrote on the Mar-A-Lago sinkhole.
After pleading not guilty, Sohmer was released on a measly $100,000 bail on Monday. He was ordered not to have access to the internet or to engage in location notifications with a parole officer. He is to avoid contact with minors.
Sohmer's Disturbing Past with Children
One thing that is being suppressed is Buzzfeed's old article on Sohmer's conversations with fourth graders, which can still be read on the Wayback Machine here. The piece was titled "People Are Touched By This Writer's Conversation With A Bunch Of Fourth Graders," and it was based on Slade's now-deleted thread about visiting his mom's fourth-grade classroom. “Outside of that, I don’t have much in common with 10-year-olds, so I was nervous," he wrote in 2018.
Sohmer added how "PSYCHED" the kids were to be around a "new adult" that wants to "talk to them." They ask him a series of questions, one of them being: "Who do you live with?" "Am I about to come out of the closet to these kids?" he added. Eventually, he told the children: "I live with my boyfriend."
The kids didn't care. Slade told BuzzFeed at the time, "One other takeaway: This isn't about indoctrination or pushing an agenda, that was a simple answer to a simple question, and it's a great reminder that homophobia is passed-down learned behavior. I'm thankful that these kids hadn't learned it. They couldn't have cared less about who I choose to live my life with."
Disturbingly, Sohmer previously worked as a Tyler Hill camper and counselor in New York, according to his LinkedIn, and even served as a co-director at Camp Power since 2010, a program that serves children in impoverished neighborhoods in NYC. The number of kids this man has come into contact with is sickening to think about.
According to the New York Post, Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey said this was one of the most “egregious” cases she had ever encountered. If Sohmer is convicted for all his crimes, his mandatory minimum sentence would only be 15 years.
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