Redmond Police detectives arrested a 70-year-old Redmond man, Douglas Meerdink, for allegedly possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit content.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) charged Meerdink with two counts of Possession of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree, and one count of Possession of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in the First Degree.
“The Defendant’s collection of sexual abuse materials indicate he is particularly interested in the sadistic sexual abuse of very minor children,” read the KCPAO charging documents.
The Redmond Police Department said they received an electronic tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which is the nation’s largest child protection organization. The Electronic Service Provider (ESP) Yahoo reported to NCMEC that the defendant uploaded 2,114 files containing depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct to their yahoo account. ESP verified the phone number and email, which belong to Meerdink, according to Redmond police.
The tip led to an investigation, followed by a search warrant of Meerdink’s residence and his arrest. During the investigation Redmond police discovered that Meerdink participates as a Sunday school teacher at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church.
Investigators located emails from Meerdink’s Cornerstone Rock Team email. ROCK, which stands for Rejoicing Over Christ’s Kids, is a children’s ministry that seeks to grow children into lifelong and passionate followers of christ. Classes are held for newborns through 5th graders at Lake Hills Elementary School in Bellevue. Redmond detectives confirmed that Meerdink is a member of Cornerstone Church, and is responsible for teaching Sunday school classes for 2nd to 3rd grade school aged children.
Meerdink’s history includes a conviction in 1988 for Indecent Liberties with the King County Superior Court, which he reported was due to the solicitation of an underage sex worker. According to KCPAO, records indicate that he was relieved of his duty to register in 2003.
“The State requests bail be set at $100,000 as set by the District Court, based on the likelihood that the Defendant will commit a violent offense in light of the depraved nature of the depictions which he collected and enjoyed,” stated the charging documents.
Facing three felony charges, Meerdink’s arraignment hearing is scheduled on November 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse.
While the investigation is ongoing, Redmond police mentioned their concerns about Meerdink’s access to children. The department suggests parents and guardians have open conversations with children about inappropriate in-person and online interactions.
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