COLUMBUS A man implicated in the alleged pedophile-pill ring a federal grand jury indicted last summer is asking to be released from custody, arguing new evidence has come to light showing he did not drive kids to a Wheelersburg home to be abused.

W. David Cole, 62, of Portsmouth, is described in court records as a close friend of 69-year-old Larry Dean Porter, who authorities said paid parents cash and drugs in order to rape their children. Federal records indicate this had been going on for years — one witness told the FBI she had seen parents, who themselves had been abused by Porter, bring their own children to him years later.

Porter, along with Cole and nine other people, is now facing federal charges following two rounds of indictments last year.

Cole was indicted in July 2020 on charges of conspiring to sex-traffic children, conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation and destroying or removing evidence.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Cole brought women with their children to Porter's home, knowing what Porter was doing to the children. While Cole denied having any sexual desires towards kids, he did admit to authorities he had sex with the drug-addled mothers, according to the complaint.

In the days following Porter's March 2020 arrest in Jackson following a police sting, Cole is accused of removing electronic evidence from the alleged ring leader’s home.

On Tuesday, attorneys representing Cole filed a motion to reopen Cole’s detention order and release him from pretrial custody, in which he was placed on June 1. A U.S. Magistrate had ruled Cole could not prove he was did not pose a danger to the general public, records show.

According to Cole's attorneys, two state’s witnesses have provided statements contradicting some of the government's claims, especially two major events — Cole's alleged role in driving victims to and from Porter's house and his alleged role in removing evidence following his buddy's arrest.

While the motion does not detail the nature of the evidence, the defense stated “the government’s case in support of pretrial detention depended on the weight of the evidence against him. New information has emerged that casts doubt on this evidence.” 

Based on this evidence, Cole's attorneys want another hearing to determine whether or not he qualifies for a pretrial release.

Cole is being held at Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, near the Indiana/Michigan line.


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