Marietta man remains jailed on felony charge

MARIETTA – A Marietta man remained in jail Friday after he was found to be in possession of multiple pornographic computer images involving children, officials said.

A search warrant was obtained Thursday morning for the home of Matthew R. Fitch, 39, of 124 Tennis Center Drive, Apt. 3A, immediately after the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received information through a confidential informant that Fitch may have been in possession of child pornography, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

The photos, around 100 in total, mostly involved young girls engaged in sexual acts with adult males, said Mincks. However, a small portion of the images also involved young boys, he said.

“We think most of the girls are around 6, 7, 8 and 9 years old,” he said.

According to the affidavit of facts, Fitch, who lives alone, was not home during the initial search. Sgt. Scott Parks did locate three computers and a brief inspection of one computer turned up several illegal images, officials said.

“We have quite a bit of computer information, but there is an awful lot of material to still go through,” said Mincks.

Officers found Fitch at his home later Thursday evening and he admitted to possessing the images, said Mincks.

According to the affidavit, Fitch told officers he had found the images on the Internet while he was living in Athens and had brought them with him when he moved to Washington County.

Fitch was charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

However, if Fitch is found to have been distributing the images, the charge could be elevated to a second-degree felony.

At this time, none of the children involved are believed to be local residents, said Mincks.

Fitch is not a registered sex offender and has no prior convictions, said Mincks. Fitch was charged with assault in 2011, but the case was dismissed.

Fitch is being held in the Washington County Jail on $5,000 bond.