MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The former East Helena police
chief appeared in federal court for the first time Tuesday on a complaint alleging he distributed child pornography
via Facebook Messenger
William Daly Harrington
, 42, was arrested on Tuesday and did not enter a plea during his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto in Missoula. He was detained pending a detention hearing Wednesday and is expected to enter a plea on June 3.
Scott Albers of Helena, his attorney, declined to comment on Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, an FBI
agent received a tip from Facebook in September 2020 that a Facebook account later determined to be Harrington's shared a sexually explicit image involving a girl around the age of ten.
revealed that between November 2019 and August 2020, Harrington shared several images of pornography with another Facebook account determined to belong to Harrington's girlfriend, with over a dozen of the images appearing to be photos
of minors in their early teens
, according to court records.
According to court documents, a search of Harrington's cellphone yielded more images.
Harrington worked for the East Helena Police Department for about 12 years before being promoted to chief in April
2019. He was placed on paid administrative leave in February after the city learned of a sexual assault
allegation against him, according to the Independent Record, and resigned on March 5.