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3 N. Seattle brothers, in 70s and 80s, arrested in child-porn investigation

Three elderly North Seattle brothers have been charged with child-pornography offenses after a search warrant was served at their home near Green Lake, where they've lived since 1962. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- Three elderly North Seattle brothers have been charged with child-pornography offenses after a search turned up "a home littered from floor to ceiling with child exploitation images, children's clothing articles, toys and movies," court documents say.

A prosecutor wrote that the brothers Edwin, Thomas and Charles Emery each "has a sexual interest in minor children and have shared the majority of their lives sexually abusing children to whom they had access and exploiting children depicted in child pornography."

“Charles Emery maintained an extensive ‘collection’ of materials related to the sexual assault and murder of female children,” the prosecutor wrote in court documents. “Edwin and Thomas Emery referred to Charles Emery’s manifestos detailing child rape and homicide and his extensive collection of items related thereto as ‘Charles’ hobby. ' "

Seattle police Capt. Mike Edwards told reporters Monday that the three had sexually abused female relatives and that the abuse stretched back to when the brothers were young boys.

"It's very clear that these three individuals have an obsession with young female children," Edwards said.

Given how long ago the abuse occurred, it is unlikely to result in charges. Police have also searched the brothers' property with cadaver dogs, but Edwards stressed the case remains a child-pornography investigation.

But based on the graphic nature of the writings, Edwards said police were erring on the side of caution and searching for any evidence of homicide.

Each brother was charged with two counts of possession of depiction of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The arrests came as part of an investigation of internet crimes against children.

Police say a family member who was cleaning the brothers' home in the 100 block of Northeast 59th Street east of Green Lake discovered what she thought were materials depicting sexual abuse of children. The three brothers have lived in the home since 1962.

She called 911 and later gave police several large trash bags from the home filled with materials of sexually explicit child pornography and other related materials, according to court documents.

Police say North Precinct officers responded, then asked for help from detectives.

A search warrant was served on the home. Police say children's clothing, including shoes, socks and underwear, which apparently had been worn, were found. Police say images of child sexual abuse and "graphic written descriptions of extreme harm to children" were also found.

"The men have been arrested, but there is a pit in our stomachs, there's this fear, this terror just like, 'wow that is awful," said one neighbor named Brittany.

"I can't even wrap my head around it, you know because there's three of them, and at their age, and if they've been living here since the 60's," said another neighbor named Stuart.

According to court documents, the brothers had lived together for most of their lives and none had married or had children.

Charles Emery reportedly worked as a janitor for Seattle Children's Hospital between the 1970s and 1990s, court documents say.

In a statement late Monday, hospital officials said they are, "devastated" and their hearts go out to the children and families involved.

"Given the considerable length of time that has passed since Charles Emery allegedly worked here, we have not yet been able to confirm his relationship with Seattle Children’s through our records. We are in communication with the King County Prosecutor on the investigation," said Alyse Bernal, Seattle Children's Public Relations Manager said in the statement.

In 2013, Edwin Emery was investigated for possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was not prosecuted for the crime

The three brothers, who have been arrested, remain in custody.


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