Jonathan Newell: Maryland judge kills himself ahead of arrest for filming boys naked

Investigators received a report that a minor had found a video camera in the bathroom of Newell's cabin in Fishing Creek, Maryland, in July


                            Jonathan Newell: Maryland judge kills himself ahead of arrest for filming boys naked
Jonathan Newell (Maryland.gov)
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A Maryland judge shot himself dead just before the FBI was coming to his home to arrest him on allegations that he had a hidden camera that captured images of naked boys in his bathroom. Authorities showed up at the home of Jonathan Newell, 50, on Friday morning to arrest him on a federal criminal complaint and found him dead from an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

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A statement from the US Attorney's Office confirmed that the judge was pronounced dead just before 7 am at the scene. "This morning agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation went to the residence of Jonathan Newell, age 50, of Henderson, Maryland, to arrest him on a federal criminal complaint filed on September 9, 2021," the statement says. "Upon entering the residence the agents found Newell suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound." 

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Maryland State Police will lead the probe into the apparent suicide, according to the statement. Newell had been on a leave of absence since July 2021, due to an investigation over accusations that he hid a camera in his bathroom to capture naked images of boys. The apparent suicide came after Newell was set to be taken into custody on federal charges of sexual exploitation, prosecutors said. His neighbor, Kimberly Keith, posted pictures that appeared to show FBI agents outside his house on Friday, Sept 10 morning. She wrote that she heard sounds that she believed were gunshots. A criminal complaint, which was unsealed Friday, September 10, said that investigators received a report that a minor had found a video camera in the bathroom of Newell's cabin in Fishing Creek, Maryland, in July.

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(Credit: Facebook/Kimberly Maddison Keith)

 

Two boys, both minors, said they had spent the night with Newell on July 22 when they claim that they discovered the camera. One of the boys said that he was undressing in the bathroom when he found a device that was facing the shower inside a small black crate on a bathroom shelf. The boy then told the other minor about the camera, and both informed their parents, according to the criminal complaint. The parents then contacted the police.

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(Credit: UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND)

 

The boy who discovered the camera inside the bathroom said that two adults and four boys were staying overnight in the cabin. When confronted by law enforcement about the camera, Newell denied installing it in the bathroom, saying "there were six other people here." While he was being interviewed, authorities believe Newell swallowed a camera memory card after asking to charge his phone, the complaint says. During the course of the investigation, authorities interviewed many other teenagers and executed search warrants for Newell's cabin, home, truck, boat, and office. They discovered a hard drive that had multiple videos of young men showering on it, the complaint says. The videos appeared to date back to 2014. Newell was also captured in some of the footage, including one video where he is touching the naked buttocks of a young man, the complaint says. At least two of the teens who were interviewed said that while they showered at Newell's home or cabin, he would "check their bodies for ticks."

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