Oakdale defendant remains in custody in federal child porn case

A federal judge ordered an Oakdale man to remain in custody as he awaits prosecution on a charge of receiving or distributing child pornography.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe on Thursday determined that there would be no way to assure the public’s safety if she were to release defendant Timothy Brian Werlhof, according to court documents filed Friday.

Investigators say they found more than 2,500 child porn images and more than 150 videos on Werlhof’s smartphone, including a photo of a nude 5-year-old girl the defendant knew.

An filed FBI affidavit indicates that Werlhof photographed the nude girl without her knowledge and downloaded the rest of the child porn images and videos from the Internet. The defendant told investigators he posted on the Internet some of the images, including the girl’s photo, according to the affidavit.

The federal judge’s ruling to keep Werlhof in custody also was based on the nature and circumstances of the charges, the evidence against the defendant, his lack of employment, his history of drug abuse and violating probation, according to the court documents. Werlhof was on probation when he was arrested in May on child porn charges in Oakdale.

A preliminary hearing for Werlhof has been scheduled July 28 in federal court in Fresno.