This article was originally published on the Conway Daily Sun on July 13, 2020
JACKSON — A man who led a protest from a skateboard through North Conway last month and called for defunding the police was charged with child pornography. On Father’s Day (June 21), Chris DeVries, 37, of Jackson led a protest he called “Skate Away the Hate,” which involved people riding bikes and skateboards down Route 16 from Schouler Park to Depot Road and back.
At the protest, DeVries spoke through a bullhorn and listed off a number of demands that he said came from local chapters of Black Lives Matter. “If we divest funds from police and prison systems we all benefit,” said DeVries. “Those funds can go to local communities and social services.”
Jackson Police Chief Chris Perley said Sunday that DeVries was charged with six counts of possessing child sexual abuse images, one count of possession of psilocybin mushrooms and one of falsifying physical evidence.
“I can’t comment on this case specifically or Mr. DeVries as he is a charged criminal defendant pending adjudication and presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Perley told the Sun on Monday. “But I can say that generally speaking, people should be very cautious about listening to voices suggesting defunding of the police because their motives are not always in the best interest of society.”
The falsifying physical evidence complaint says DeVries threw his cellphone from the porch when law enforcement arrived. The child abuse images show underage girls either in “lewd exhibition” of private parts or engaging in sexual activity.
All the complaints against DeVries were signed by Carroll County Attorney Michaela Andruzzi.
DeVries entered ‘not guilty” pleas at a hearing held over Webex (remotely) on Monday.
Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O’Neill III presided. Andruzzi represented the state and Paul Garrity of Paul J. Garrity Law Offices in Londonderry represented DeVries.
O’Neill approved an agreement in which DeVries would be held without bail for the time being with the understanding that DeVries can have another bail hearing later.
According to Perley’s probable cause statement, a forensic examiner with Internet Crimes Against Children found more than 60 images of child sexual abuse on DeVries’ phone. DeVries admitted to viewing and sharing child pornography and also that the mushrooms were used as drugs, Perley said.
Jackson Police and several other police agencies executed a search warrant at the DeVries home on Wilson Road at 11:45 a.m. Friday after tips were received by the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
A warrant was issued by a Cheshire County Superior Court judge. Each child pornography charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $4,000 fine. The drug and evidence charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Participating in the search were members of the ICAC Task Force from the Cheshire and Grafton County Sheriff’s Office; detectives from Plymouth Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Conway Police Department; and Jackson Police Department officers Ryan McDonald, Garry Owen Sherry and Martin Bourque.
The case remains active and ongoing. Anyone who may have information is encouraged to call Perley at (603) 383-9292.
Read the original article at: https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/local/rolling-protester-faces-child-porn-charges/article_3f438646-c4ff-11ea-8406-af2b443b45af.html