Donald A. Sinkovec, 46, of Newbury Township was indicted by a Geauga County grand jury last week on multiple child pornography-related charges. He is scheduled for arraignment in the Geauga County Common Pleas Court on May 26.
A Geauga County Grand Jury on May 4 indicted Mr. Sinkovec on two fourth-degree felonies, one for pandering obscenity involving a minor and the other for pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. The grand jury also indicted Mr. Sinkovec on five counts of fifth-degree felonies for illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material and another fifth-degree felony for possession of criminal tools, according to court records.
Mr.Sinkovec, a father of two children, operates Great Lakes Home Theater out of his home in Newbury, according to court records.
Court documents state that the suspect solicited the offending material on or around Feb. 27.
Detective Donald Seamon, of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office, said child pornography wasn’t the only aspect of the investigation. “It was forwarded to us that young children were possibly being molested at that residence,” he said. “That was the initial concern.”
Richard Warner, a criminal investigator with the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office, said the molestation allegations remain under investigation.
“The most important reason why we do this is not because somebody is downloading and viewing child pornography,” Mr. Warner said. “While that is important, the most important thing is that we are making sure that, if there are children in danger, that we are getting them out of a dangerous environment.”
Det. Seamon said the case originated out of New York state with an investigator who posed as a minor in chatrooms.
“Rick and I both have programs that are running 24 hours a day that are looking for suspects involved in trading child pornography,” he explained. Sometimes, however, external agencies from other geographical areas will send cases to Geauga County because that’s not their jurisdiction, Det. Seamon said.
This case originated as a cyber tip, after the New York investigator engaged in some alleged worrisome internet conversations with Mr. Sinkovecm, local investigators said. The New York investigator used Mr. Sinkovec’s IP address to track the iPad he was using in Newbury Township. At that point the information was passed along to Mr. Warner and Mr. Seamon, the investigators said.
Det. Seamon said he went to Mr. Sinkovec’s residence and asked for the iPad. Mr. Sinkovec complied, the detective said.
Mr. Warner said previously more cases involved suspects viewing child pornography and fewer cases of sex abusers physically violating a child. Now, studies of federal convictions show an increase in sex abuse cases involving minor, he said.
“By no means am I short selling how detrimental child pornography is,” Mr. Warned explained. “It totally is, it’s a visual and an auditory way for those that, if this is their preference, to have a sexual gratification. While that sexual gratification, maybe it’s by themselves for now, at some point fantasy is no longer fantasy and it becomes a reality. That’s always our fear.”