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Social Worker Who Counsels Teens Faces Child Porn Charges

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) — A man trusted to counsel teenagers is now behind bars. James Patrick Tinker faces child porn charges after police conducted a search warrant at his Essex home Thursday.

The charges have shocked those who work and live near him.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.

James Tinker is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography after a nearly two month investigation by Baltimore County Police.

James Tinker, 46, is a social worker who police say counsels teenagers. But what investigators found on his home computer has left his Essex neighborhood in shock.

“It’s like, come on. You’re an adult. What do you want with kids?” said Jody Lamp.

Baltimore County Police say with their crimes against children unit they detected Tinker sharing images of child pornography on the web.

Police served a warrant on Tinker’s home and say they found several explicit pictures of children on his computer.

“It is important to note that our investigation so far has indicated that the suspect has not had any sexual contact whatsoever with children, either in these videos or any other location,” said Cpl. John Wachter, Baltimore County Police.

Tinker is a licensed social worker who provides counseling at both Anne Arundel Counseling in Glen Burnie and Turning Point in Baltimore City.

The chief financial officer at Turning Point tells WJZ Tinker has only worked there for a few months and had no access to children.

The facility does not provide counseling to anyone under 18. They say Tinker cleared a background check and had performed his job adequately.

People who use the services there say they’re disturbed by the charges.

“It scares me. But the good thing about that is the kids are not allowed in there,” said Debra Young.

Officials at Turning Point say Tinker will not be seeing any patients until the investigation is complete.

Tinker is being held on $200,000 bond.

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