Man Who Was Removed From Sex Offender Registry Arrested on Suspicion of Child Pornography in Fontana

A man who was registered sex offender until he was removed from the list in 2014 was arrested on suspicion of possession child pornography after taking photos at a child’s birthday party, Fontana police announced on Monday.

Joseph Welsh is shown in a booking photo on September 17, 2017. (Credit: Fontana Police Department)

Joseph Welsh is shown in a booking photo on September 17, 2017. (Credit: Fontana Police Department)

Joseph Welsh, 47, was arrested on suspicion of child annoyance with a prior conviction and possession of child pornography with a prior conviction, police said.

The San Diego native was at a family birthday party at a home in the 8700 block of Boxwood Court in Fontana early Sunday evening when parents noticed Welsh allegedly taking photos of prepubescent females wearing bathing suits at the party.

The parents of the victims confronted Welsh and took his cellphone before contacting authorities, police said. It’s not clear if Welsh was invited to the party.

When Fontana Police Department officers arrived, they detained Welsh and contacted the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit to investigate further.

A search warrant served at Welsh’s home in the 2200 block of Tokalon Street in San Diego and at his business in the 4100 block of Mission Blvd in Pacific Beach revealed several pornographic photos of children on electronic devices that were found, police said in a news release.

Welsh was arrested and booked at West Valley Detention Center, police said. He was released about 2:15 p.m. Monday, according to inmate records.

Welsh was a registered sex offender until 2014, when the courts determined he was not a danger to the public and he received a rehabilitation certificate, police said.

Police noted that the arrest comes after the California Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would end lifetime sex offender registration for some “nonviolent” offenders.

Under the bill, which would create three “tiers” of sex offender registrants, those convicted of possession of child pornography would be eligible for removal from the registry after 10 years. Brown has not yet signed the bill.