Authorities are looking for other young victims of Nicholas James Needham, a 27-year-old registered sex offender who used to reside in Laguna Beach but most recently was living, working and--according to authorities--molesting in Orange, where he allegedly reached over a public restroom urinal to touch a 5-year-old boy's penis.
Needham faced an arraignment hearing this morning on one felony count each of lewd acts on a child under 14 and possession and control of child pornography. After he was arrested for the molestation--which allegedly occurred as the boy's mother waited outside the Block of Orange restroom, a search of Needham's home uncovered thousands of photographs and three videos of child pornography, mostly on his iPod and featuring young boys from infancy to early teens, according to prosecutors.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office statement on today's arraignment follows:
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October 21, 2010
SEX OFFENDER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR MOLESTING 5-YEAR-OLD BOY IN PUBLIC RESTROOM AND POSSESSING THOUSANDS OF IMAGES OF AMATEUR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
*Law enforcement is seeking the public's help in identifying potential additional victims
SANTA ANA - Law enforcement is seeking the public's help in identifying potential additional victims of a registered sex offender charged with molesting a 5-year-old boy in a public restroom and possessing thousands of images of graphic, amateur child pornography. Nicholas James Needham, 27, Laguna Beach, is charged with one felony count each of lewd acts on a child under 14 and possession and control of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years and eight months in state prison. Needham is out of custody on $250,000 bail. The People will be requesting his bail be increased to $500,000 at Needham's arraignment tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on June 15, 2010, Needham is accused of entering a men's restroom at the Block at Orange. A 5-year-old boy, John Doe, was using the urinal while his mother waited outside. Needham is accused of standing next to the victim, whom he did not know, reaching over, and touching the victim's penis. The defendant then left the scene.
John Doe disclosed the sexual assault to his mother, who contacted the Orange Police Department (OPD), who investigated the case.
During a subsequent search of the defendant's home, OPD officers discovered thousands of photographs and three videos of child pornography. Needham is accused of possessing graphic and explicit child pornography on his iPod predominantly featuring young boys from infancy to early teens. The photographs and videos appear to be non-commercial, amateur images. The children in the photographs and videos have yet to be identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact OPD Detective Leslie Franco at (714) 744-7572 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8794.
Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.