A Lexington Park man was arrested after a videotape of neighborhood children performing sexual acts was found in his motor home last week, according to court documents.
Michael Truesdale, 46, was charged with five counts of child pornography--one for each of the children, ages 5 to 11, he allegedly filmed as they danced provocatively on July 30. Truesdale was released on $7,500 bond and was scheduled to appear in St. Mary's County District Court on Wednesday.
The five children were at Truesdale's home because he had taken them swimming earlier that day, said Lt. John Horne of the St. Mary's County sheriff's office. Horne said the children's parents were shocked at Truesdale's arrest because he was known in his neighborhood as a person with whom parents felt comfortable leaving their children.
"I'm sure they're upset at the fact that they trusted this guy with their kids and then he's telling them to take their clothes off in front of the camera," Horne said.
According to the charging documents, the mother of one of the children learned about the tape and took it from Truesdale's motor home while on a visit. Truesdale allegedly came to the woman's home and demanded she return the tape. The woman refused and instead turned the tape over to police, the documents stated.
During a search of Truesdale's home, police discovered several other sexually explicit materials, such as photos and adult films on computer disks, according to court documents.
Truesdale also told a St. Mary's County sheriff's officer that he frequently looked at child pornography sites on the Internet because he was "curious," according to the documents.
If convicted, Truesdale faces up to 10 years in prison or $25,000 in fines.