Shelby Twp. child porn case findings to come out July 6

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 2, 2016

 Defendant Philip Frame, 61, of Shelby Township, watches the proceedings at his hearing at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township April 26. Frame, a former Macomb County official, is charged with more than 70 counts of possession of child sexually abusive material.

Defendant Philip Frame, 61, of Shelby Township, watches the proceedings at his hearing at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township April 26. Frame, a former Macomb County official, is charged with more than 70 counts of possession of child sexually abusive material.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At an April 26 court hearing, 41-A District Court Judge Douglas Shepherd scheduled a special half-day preliminary examination for Philip Frame, 61, of Shelby Township, who is charged with more than 70 counts of possession of child sexually abusive material.

William Harding, chief of the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office Internet and ID Theft Unit, said the exam will be lengthy because of the number of exhibits to present, and that at least two witnesses will be called to testify.

“It’s not only testimony about the search warrant and the arrest and findings at his home, but we’ll be presenting the specially trained expert who conducted the examination of his computer,” Harding said. “There are some 100 exhibits entered.”

He said the prosecution intends to call the arresting officer and the officer who conducted the investigation, as well as perhaps another officer who was involved in the investigation, and the forensic expert from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

Harding said he and Rabaut plan to review the exhibits prior to the July 6 preliminary examination, set for 1:30 p.m. at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township, in order to expedite the process.

During Frame’s April 26 court date, Rabaut requested that Shepherd cancel drug testing through the 41-A District Court because Frame also is undergoing drug testing through a federal agency in relation to a federal child pornography case.

Shepherd agreed to cancel drug testing, so long as the federal testing agency notifies the court of any positive tests.

“It looks like we have duplicate efforts of testing here, which is not necessary,” Shepherd said. “It’s financially burdensome here by having two sets of ongoing testing.”

Harding said Frame is under supervision through the federal system.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes Unit received a tip in mid-December from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that pornographic images of children had been uploaded to an IP address registered to Frame’s residence.

After an approximately two-week investigation, Macomb Area Computer Enforcement detectives searched Frame’s home, located near 26 Mile and Mound roads, and arrested Frame Jan. 1. They seized printed and electronic pornographic images of children, as well as marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He was charged with five counts of possession of child sexually abusive material, one count of using a computer to commit a crime and a misdemeanor for possessing marijuana.

On Jan. 2, Frame posted a $10,000 cash-or-surety bond and was released from the Macomb County Jail.

Harding said that due to evidence unearthed by forensic analysis of Frame’s laptop by the Macomb Area Computer Enforcement team, the prosecution filed 70 additional counts of possession of child sexually abusive material against Frame.

In September, Wickersham said, the Department of Homeland Security searched Frame’s home after a federal investigation into child pornography, and evidence was confiscated at the time.

Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that following an investigation by ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Frame was charged by federal criminal complaint Feb. 25 with possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents, Frame indicated that he is interested in plea negotiations and is due back in federal court May 19.

Rabaut, who also represents Frame on the federal case, declined to comment on the specifics of either case.

Frame formerly held the position of director of the Macomb County Office of Public Affairs. The office shut down in September 2009 as a result of layoffs.

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