Jeffery Roderick, of Canton, was in the Tuscarawas County jail under $1 million bond on a charge of pandering sexual material involving a minor, New Philadelphia police Capt. Michael Goodwin said. The FBI and Palm Springs police also were investigating, and Roderick may be extradited to California to face additional charges, authorities said.
Police said they also found in their investigation that Roderick, 42, was honored in 2001 with some other residents of Palm Springs, where he used to live, for helping capture a child molestation suspect in a park.
Roderick didn't enter a plea at a preliminary hearing. The public defender's office declined to comment.
The toddler found the CD lodged under a drawer in his New Philadelphia home, where police say Roderick once lived with a previous owner. The toddler's mother turned the CD over to police, who tracked down the previous owner and found that the child on the CD was her granddaughter.
The woman was unaware of the abuse and was "very distraught" Goodwin said.
Roderick was arrested Jan. 28.
Police said the woman had treated Roderick like a son, letting him live at her Palm Springs and New Philadelphia homes. The events on the CD occurred in Palm Springs in 2004, when Roderick was baby-sitting the child, who was about 1 or 2 years old, Goodwin said.
Roderick confessed after police told him the CD, containing photos and video clips, had been found, Goodwin said. A recording of his confession was played at his preliminary hearing, The Times-Reporter newspaper of Dover-New Philadelphia reported.
The New Philadelphia home's current owners have lived there more than two years, WTOV-TV in Steubenville reported.