GRAND ISLE, LA (WAFB) - An elderly man stands accused of child porn and other charges after authorities said he was caught taking pictures of a little girl watching a parade on Feb. 20, which eventually led to a search of his home, where a stash was reportedly found in a hidden section of the house.
According to the Slidell Police Department, Patrick Walsh, 66, of Grand Isle had snapped shots up the skirt of a 5-year-old as she sat on the curb watching a Mardi Gras parade. When questioned, Walsh admitted to looking at child pornography.
Investigators credited the watchful eyes of a law enforcement officer's wife with first seeing something that seemed suspicious with the man. They said the woman was at the Perseus Parade in Slidell with her family when she noticed Walsh was taking pictures of the little girl instead of the parade.
She told her husband, an off-duty St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputy, what she saw and he also started watching what was happening. Detectives reported when the deputy saw the man was allegedly taking pictures of the girl he found an agent with the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). They said by the time the agent saw Walsh, he was sitting in his truck.
The suspect apparently saw the agent approaching because it was reported, "he saw that the older white male was pressing buttons on his camera, in what appeared to be an attempt to delete images from the camera." Investigators said the agent took the camera and saw a picture of a little girl on the view screen. The Slidell Police Department was then contacted and started investigating the incident.
Officers reported seeing several magazines inside the truck with pictures of young kids on them. They thoroughly searched it after getting a warrant and said they found eight pictures of "suspected child pornography" and pictures of children in swimsuits and underwear. During questioning, he confessed he looked at child porn on his computer at home. However, he claimed he did not download any of it.
Detectives then contacted the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General. Police and agents with the AG's office searched Walsh's home in Grand Isle and reported locating "a large amount of possible pornographic material," most of which they said was found in a hidden compartment that was built at the same time as the house.
Walsh was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on charges of video voyeurism (26 counts) and child porn (8 counts). His bond was set at $1,000,000.
The investigation is ongoing.
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