Judge Jonathan Newell apparently took his own life on Friday, Sept. 10, with the FBI and police at his door in Henderson. Newell’s death occurred less than a day after a federal criminal complaint was filed alleging child exploitation by the Caroline County District judge.
The investigation needs to continue and answer some very important questions.
The FBI interviewed Newell about a camera found in a cabin where he spent time with several boys. Nine boys and teens have been interviewed as part of the investigation.
Newell swallowed an SD card from a computer during a July 23 interview after two boys staying at a cabin in Fishing Creek with Newell discovered a camera, according to the FBI. Video footage from the cameras and Newell’s electronics show the judge examining the boys’ bodies for ticks, according to police.
Newell’s death should not end this investigation. The public needs to know when the investigation first started and when the first allegations were filed and where.
Who knew about the allegations and when and what did other officials (judges, police, prosecutors and elected officials) do about it?
Why did it take from late July to almost mid-September to file the complaint?
Was this a fast or slow investigation?
Was Newell given any special treatment or accommodations because he was a judge?
How did Newell know the boys in the allegations?
Who else used or visited the Fishing Creek cabin?
What are the details of the Sept. 10 raid and Newell’s apparent suicide?
The community knew about the allegations in the case for weeks. We deserve more answers to how the case was handled, the dynamics of investigating a sitting Maryland judge and who knew about the allegations and when.
We worry about how allegations against Judge Newell were handled and who all knew about the potential abuse. We need to do our best to protect the privacy of the boys and families potentially victimized. But we deserve some transparency and illuminating answers to this disturbing investigation.