GILFORD — A hat with a Ford Motor Co. symbol and a distinctive chest of drawers were two of the key clues that led police on Wednesday to a convicted sex offender who is being held on $250,000 for the felonious sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl he arranged to meet behind the local movie theater complex in October.
Police affidavits released yesterday regarding the investigation and arrest into David Ferland, 37, of 686 Union Ave. in Laconia said he sent photos of his genitalia to the victim using Kik — an instant messaging Internet service. The victim also told police she had contact with him using Instagram.
The victim's father contacted police when he found an unauthorized cell phone in his daughter's possession that had some disturbing images and content.
Investigators realized the two user photos on Instagram and Kik were similar. The man in the photo — later identified as Ferland — was allegedly wearing the same Ford hat. A similar photo was found on Facebook registered to "Eric Clog."
Further investigation led Gilford Police to Laconia where a city detective was working with middle school administrators about some photographs sent in November to two students over Facebook, also by "Eric Clog," that were deemed inappropriate by school administrators.
Through search warrants, Gilford Police got information from Instagram about Ferland and were able to learn the number of the pre-paid cell phone he was allegedly using. Detectives said using the phone number and the fake name they found a number of X-rated website where Ferland had allegedly posted the cell phone number while in search of young boys for sexual encounters. Some genitalia photos found on Craig's List showed the same chest of drawers that were in the photos Gilford Police got from the victim.
The photos were distributed by Gilford Police to area police departments and officers from the Division of Probation and Parole in the hopes that one of them would recognize the bedroom as that of someone who was under their jurisdiction.
Ferland's probation officer recognized the chest of drawers and said he knew the place where the photo had been taken.
He went there, made contact with Ferland, and charged him with a parole violation for possessing computer equipment. Gilford Police got a search warrant and seized photographs, computers, and the Ford hat seen in the photographs from Ferland's bedroom.
During an interview at the Belknap County Jail, police said Ferland admitted purchasing alcohol for the victim and one of her friends and then leaving it at drop point where she could pick it up. He also admitted that he met the two girls behind the Gilford Cinema where he digitally penetrated one of the them and said the other touched him.
Ferland appeared by video in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday morning. His lawyer made no bail argument and notified the court that Ferland would likely be returning to the N.H. State Prison for the parole violation and, should he choose to appear for his probable cause hearing on the latest charge, he would have to be transported from there.
Ferland is a registered sex offender who had been reporting regularly to the Laconia Police. He has nine conviction for felonious sexual assault as well and 21 convictions for possession of child pornography most of which are out of Rockingham County.
Gilford Police said Wednesday that the investigation into Ferland's alleged activities continues and he could face more charges.