Caller’s concerns lead to child porn arrest in Vermillion

By David Lias

david.lias@plaintalk.net

A call from a concerned citizen has led to the arrest of a Vermillion man for allegedly possessing child pornography.

Vermillion Police officers responded on May 31 to a report of an older male “hanging around” Prentis Park taking photos of small children in the vicinity of the playground and swimming pool.

The caller, a supervisor for a summer children’s program, was suspicious of the man and felt uncomfortable with the attention he was giving to the children.

According to a press release from the police department, the caller confronted the man. An officer responded and spoke to the man, identified as Roland Gilbaugh, 69, of Vermillion.

According to the prepared statement from Police Chief Matt Betzen, “The officer spoke with Gilbaugh and became convinced that Gilbaugh’s photographic efforts were for nefarious purposes,”

Investigators from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) were called, and information was developed that lead to a search warrant being obtained for Gilbaugh’s residence.

Three computers, multiple hard drives, hundreds of CDs, DVDs and other digital storage devices were seized. Initial review of these items revealed they contain child pornography. Forensic examination of the seized items continues.

Gilbaugh was arrested May 31, and charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony. Bail was set at $5,000. He currently is behind bars in the Clay County Jail in Vermillion.

The Vermillion Police Department acknowledges the caller who recognized there was a problem and was willing to confront the offender and call police.

“This type of vigilance and cooperation is necessary to protect our children,” Betzen stated in the press release.

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