Maryland mayor arrested on child pornography charges resigns

Maryland mayor arrested on child pornography charges resigns

The mayor of College Park, Maryland, was arrested Thursday on dozens of counts of child pornography and has resigned from his post, authorities said.

Patrick Ozan, 47, was charged with 56 counts of alleged child pornography, including 40 counts of possession of child exploitative material and 16 counts of distribution of child exploitative material. statement From the Prince George’s County Police Department.

A Statement on city website said Ozan’s resignation was effective Thursday.

“Last night, after business hours, Mayor Patrick L. Ojahn has submitted his letter of resignation as mayor of the City of College Park, effective immediately on March 2. Mayor Ozan has served in this position since 2015 and on the council since 2007. Thank you to Mayor Ozan for his many years of dedicated service to City College Park,” the statement said.

“Effective immediately, Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Mitchell will serve as presiding officer until a special election is held and a new mayor is sworn in. In accordance with the city charter, a special election must be held within 65 days.”

In his resignation letter, also posted on the city’s website, Ojahan wrote that it was a “deep honor and privilege” to serve the city.

“While this investigation does not involve any official city business, it is in the best interest of our community that I step aside and not serve as a distraction,” he said. “Many of you have already reached out with well wishes and thoughts and I am eternally grateful. I’m stepping away to deal with my own mental health. I ask that you continue to keep me and my family in your prayers.”

Wazan could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday. It is not clear if he was in prison.

College Park has about 35,000 residents, according to the most recent US Census Bureau data.

The criminal investigation began Feb. 17 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted local police that a social media account operated in Prince George’s County contained and distributed child pornography, police said.

“The photos and videos were uploaded to the social media account in January 2023. Through various investigative techniques, PGPD investigators discovered that the social media account belonged to Wojahn,” police said.

While executing a search warrant at Ojahan’s home on Tuesday, investigators recovered multiple cell phones, a storage device, a tablet and a computer, police said.

Wazan was arrested on Thursday morning, police said.

Ozhan made history in College Park by becoming the city’s first openly gay man to become mayor. NBC Washington Reported in November 2015.

This article was originally published

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