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Weare man accused of possessing child porn, faces 41 felony counts

William Panagiotopolos of Weare was arrested on 41 counts of child pornography.

William Panagiotopolos of Weare was arrested on 41 counts of child pornography.

A 41-year-old Weare man has been indicted on 41 felony counts of possessing child pornography, following a months-long investigation by state authorities that led to his arrest last fall.

William Panagiotopolos was indicted by a grand jury last Thursday. He is being held at the Hillsborough County jail.

Panagiotopolos was arrested in October, nearly six months after authorities from the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched his residence on Norris Road and seized a computer containing dozens of images of children in sexual positions.

Panagiotopolos faces 41 Class A felony charges – each carrying a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Weare police Chief Gregory Begin said yesterday that his department was first notified by the task force of Panagiotopolos’s alleged behavior last March. On March 19, officers from his department aided the task force in conducting a search of Panagiotopolos’s home, seizing his computer and notifying him of their investigation. The task force then conducted a forensics analysis of the computer and notified Begin of their findings in late August, at which time his department began drafting arrest warrants.

Begin said he was not certain of Panagiotopolos’s occupation, and he said it was possible that he was unemployed at the time of his arrest. Hillsborough Assistant County Attorney Michael Valentine, who is prosecuting the case, indicated yesterday via email that Panagiotopolos has previous convictions, but details about those are not yet clear.

After being taken into custody, Panagiotopolos was held on a $27,000 bail, according to Valentine. Probable cause, whereby there is enough evidence for a case to proceed, was established in November. The case then moved to the Hillsborough County Superior Court, where Judge David Garfunkel has presided over it since.

Before the indictment, Panagiotopolos’s bail was altered to $25,000 after the defendant filed a motion to have it amended. Valentine said Panagiotopolos has never been able to post bail.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319 or
jblackman@cmonitor.com.)

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