Judge Accused Of Recording Children On Bathroom Hidden Camera Kills Himself

During an FBI search, Jonathan Gray Newell allegedly ate a memory card that may have contained evidence.

October 05, 2021
Judge Jonathan Gray Newell, 50, of Caroline County, Maryland.

Judge Jonathan Gray Newell, 50, of Caroline County, Maryland.

Photo by: Caroline County Circuit Court website

Caroline County Circuit Court website

Judge Jonathan Gray Newell, 50, of Caroline County, Maryland.

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A judge in Maryland accused of recording illicit images of children on a hidden camera ate alleged evidence and later killed himself when authorities attempted to take him into custody.

On Sept. 10 just before 7 a.m., The FBI went to the Henderson home of Jonathan Gray Newell, 50, to arrest him on a federal sexual exploitation of a child charge. When agents entered Newell’s residence, they discovered him dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal criminal complaint filed before his death alleged Newell, a longtime Caroline County prosecutor who became a circuit court judge in the same jurisdiction in 2016, took several male minors on an overnight Hoopers Island trip last July. The parents of one boy told police their son allegedly found and photographed a hidden camera in Newell’s fishing cabin bathroom, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Two of the boys also “stated they were naked when Newell checked them for ticks,” and a third child “initially did not recall if Newell touched his genitalia, but later stated that Newell once or twice moved the minor’s genitalia to look for ticks,” the newspaper reported, citing a criminal complaint.

FBI agents raided Newell’s cabin, and after an interview with investigators concluded, criminal records state, “Newell was permitted to go to his bedroom to plug his cell phone into a charger and make phone calls.”

During a call, Newell reached under his bed and then appeared to put something into his mouth, according to the Washington Post.

“The investigator heard a loud, distinguishable, ‘crunch,’ sound from the area of Newell’s mouth. After another minute or two, the investigator heard the same ‘crunch’ again from Newell’s mouth, followed by Newell immediately reaching for and drinking from a cup located on his dresser,” the FBI wrote in charging documents.

When investigators looked at a camera Newell later retrieved for them from underneath his bed, the FBI wrote that “the SD card slot was empty” and “the device appeared to be the same device Minor Victim 1 photographed in the bathroom earlier that morning.”

Investigators secured a warrant, and the following day a CT scan performed on Newell showed what was described as an “18 mm linear possibly metallic foreign body within the small bowel,” the complaint states.

The FBI wrote that agents discovered multiple “digital devices” as well as an external hard drive that “revealed numerous videos of minor males showering” during additional searches carried out on Newell’s cabin, home, office and other personal property.

At the time of the July raid, agents did not arrest or charge Newell since the investigation was still ongoing and a criminal complaint was not yet filed.

Newell denied the allegations against him. After his suicide in September, Newell’s defense attorneys wrote in a statement: “Our hearts break for Judge Newell’s family, especially for his two sons with whom he was very close.”

Next Up

The FBI Is Hoping You Can Help Identify This Male In Alleged Sexual Exploitation Case Involving Infant

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is hoping someone can identify a man they are calling, "John Doe 45." The suspect may have critical information about helping to identify an infant victim in a sexual exploitation investigation, agents said. If you know anything, please contact the FBI directly: 800-CALL-FBI.

Accused Child Molestor Jason Hines Is On The Run From Arizona

Investigators say Jason Hines is a "master manipulator" with a number of tattoos featuring skulls on his body. He could be meeting women on dating websites, especially those with young children. If you have any information on where Jason Hines is hiding out, please text our hotline. John Walsh guarantees you can remain anonymous: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

Fugitive Sherman Jackson Is On The Government's Elite G7 List Of Sexual Predators

Accused sexual predator Sherman Jackson is computer savvy, could be working as a tech in the industry. He may be connected to a church to have better access to children and could have multiple social media accounts. John Walsh guarantees you can remain anonymous. If you have any information, please call or text: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ And FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Michael Pratt Captured

On Dec. 23, the FBI confirmed they captured fugitive Michael Pratt in Spain. Pratt was arrested in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.

True Crime News Roundup: Prince Andrew Stripped Of Military Titles After Judge Allows Sex Abuse Case To Proceed

Plus: A Chicago mother is arrested in connection to the murder of her 6-year-old son; the convicted killer Robert Durst dies at age 78; Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ sentencing date is set; and an LGBTQ+ rights movement hero is found dead in a Florida landfill.

'I Was Definitely Brainwashed': Onision's Youngest Alleged Victim Speaks Out

Sarah alleges years of grooming, inappropriate sexual behavior and abuse at the hands of the YouTuber, beginning when she was just 14 years old.

The Children Of God: 5 Disturbing Facts About The Pro-Pedophilia Sex Cult

The sect still exists online and reportedly has 1,500 members in 80 countries.

U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted Found Dead In South Carolina

Frederick McLean was on the U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted since 2006. Investigators said McLean lived in Poughkeepsie, NY and Anderson, SC. He used a number of alises over the years and investigators are concerned other victims are still out there.

5 Things To Know About R. Kelly’s Upcoming Trial

If convicted, the R&B singer could face the rest of his life behind bars.

True Crime News Roundup: Larry Nassar Abuse Survivors Agree To $380 Million Settlement

Plus: Atlanta officials memorialize the young victims of a prolific serial killer; searchers have found multiple sets of human remains while looking for a missing geologist; and Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights.