Poplar Bluff paraplegic man accused of statutory sodomy
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - A sordid sex case exposes the underbelly of the internet chat world, and helps police track down an alleged predator. It spans two Heartland states. The man accused of molesting the child, is a paraplegic who lives in Poplar Bluff.
Police say 35-year-old Billy Porch, didn't let his physical condition stop him from exploring a world very few of us even realize exists - online. But it's through that same world - investigators discovered he was crossing the line - in real life.
Billy Porch isn't your typical sex offender suspect. He's confined to a wheelchair, after an accident 18 years ago. But police say that didn't stop the computer support specialist from chatting in sites catering to pedophiles.
The twist - one of his chat buddies, was an undercover officer in Illinois, who became even more interested when Porch began talking about allegedly molesting a young girl in Poplar Bluff. "Within the chat, the investigator informed me the suspect had gone into detail about how he had molested the 12-year-old victim, and gave me information he had concerning it," Officer Jeff Shackelford with the Poplar Bluff Police Department says.
The child and the child's mother confirmed the details, and now Porch faces statutory sodomy and incest charges.
And there's more. "In the interview with the suspect, he did admit there would be images of child porn on his computer. the seized items are undergoing a forensic exam at this time," Shackelford says.
When we showed up at Porch's home, he wasn't very talkative. "I'm innocent of the charges they're charging me with," he says.
Neighbors say they're not surprised. "Since he's a little bit handicapped doesn't worry me that much, but it still bothers me that there's some kind of perv next door. I don't want him watching us and thinking dirty things when I'm getting my child in and out of the car or something," Travanti Dirkach says.