Police: Images on computer show man raping children

Robert Swan
Robert Swan

Images on a computer seized from a Bedico man allegedly show him committing the crime of aggravated rape of children, authorities said Friday.

Investigators said they are trying to identify the children, but it could end up being a multistate case.

Among numerous images of child pornography are two that show Robert Eugene Swan, 50, engaging in alleged felony sex acts with children who appear to be under the age of 10, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards said.

One of them could be under a year old, he said.

Evidence obtained from Swan’s computer was sufficient to enable deputies to book him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on an aggravated rape count, authorities reported.

He also was booked on counts of manufacturing, distributing and possession of child pornography.

Swan was ordered to be held without bail by Judge Bruce Bennett of 21st Judicial District Court.

The aggravated rape count filed against Swan involves a victim who was approximately 7 to 9 years of age, said Laura Gerdes Colligan, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office.

“We believe the crime occurred in early 2010, but that is a detail that is still under investigation,” she said.

She declined to give additional details about the cases.

Edwards said the investigation began when the Sheriff’s Office obtained information that child pornography was being downloaded onto Swan’s computer.

Along with the Attorney General’s Office, deputies obtained a search warrant for Swan’s home near La. 22 south of Ponchatoula.

During a search Wednesday of the residence at 39790 W. Sam Arnold Loop, investigators confiscated numerous computer hard drives, which will undergo forensic investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, the sheriff said.

During the search, investigators found not only numerous images of the downloaded pornography for which they were looking, but also came upon the images that show Swan allegedly raping the two unidentified children, Edwards said.

The priority is to identify the children and “ensure they are safe and get to them any help they need,” he said

Swan has connections in Florida, and an investigation to determine the location where the incidents occurred is still under way, the sheriff said.

Swan could face more than 20 years in prison for each pornography count if convicted, and could face life in prison without parole if convicted of aggravated rape, according to the Attorney General’s Office.