Cops: Child assault suspect ran baby-sitting service

Posted at 9:03 AM, Nov 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-15 09:03:03-05

By Katherine Cavazini

(CNN) — Texas officials are investigating a new lead in the case of a Pearland man suspected of sexually assaulting as many as 15 young girls and taking photos of the abuse.

Tad Costin, 42, was arrested November 1 after police say they received several computer SD cards that contained thousands of graphic photos, many with Costin allegedly sexually assaulting young female children between the ages of 4 and 7, Jeff McShan of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office told HLN on Thursday.

Costin currently is charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child and four counts of possession of child pornography, but prosecutors say they anticipate filing additional charges.

Pearland police told HLN they have made contact with one potential victim out of 15 girls that are allegedly depicted in the photos.

Costin had previously run a baby-sitting service out of a former girlfriend’s home, police said.

“He was looking for basically single mothers who were trying to get through college or work, and looking for mothers who needed someone to watch their kids. He was soliciting business,” Pearland police spokesman Lt. Onesime Lopez told HLN.

Police say Costin’s former girlfriend, whose name is being withheld, is not a suspect in the case.

Authorities were made aware of the abuse after the parents of Costin’s current girlfriend, 26-year-old Julia Lack, discovered a box containing the SD cards in a closet at a house in Liberty County.

“Her parents confronted her and she didn’t answer any of their questions and took off,” McShan said.

Lack was arrested one week later and charged with one count of possession of child pornography. She was released from jail after posting bond on November 8.

HLN reached out to the attorneys for Costin and Lack, but calls were not immediately returned.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office told HLN six possible victims contacted authorities after police released Costin’s photo to the media. Police say they are working to identify more potential victims. They said they believe Costin has been preying on young girls as far back as the 1990s.

“Once we have our forensic analysis complete and we have a better picture of what’s going on, we’ll be able to know exactly how many charges we’re going to file,” Kathryn Kahle with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office told affiliate KHOU.

Costin is being held at the Harris County jail on a $4 million bond.

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