LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas – A 42-year-old Pearland man was arrested Friday night after he was accused sexually assaulting multiple female children between the ages of 4 to 7 years old, deputies said.
According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Tad Jeremy Costin was arrested by police at 11 p.m. at his residence in Pearland after he was charged with sexual assault of a child. Investigators said there are 15 unidentified victims and more charges may be coming.
Investigators said Costin, who previously resided on County Road 4830 just west of Dayton, only lived in Liberty County for about two months before relocating to Pearland.
During a search of Costin’s Pearland home, investigators found six hard drives and 80 CDs/DVDs containing child pornography.
Investigators believe all of the graphic images found so far were taken inside Costin’s former residence on Derbyshire Drive near Clear Lake.
“It’s scary as [expletive] to be honest, that someone that can be a friend like that can go off and do such disgusting things,” said Andrew Barker, who currently rents the home from Costin.
Andrew Barker and his sister now live at the home on Derbyshire Drive, and Barker said it’s chilling to know what allegedly happened there.
“I’m shaking right now. This is pretty crazy,” explained Barker. “Anytime he has been around my niece and nephew, he’s been around us. It’s always been supervised. We never had a reason to suspect anything.”
Neighbors who live near Costin’s current address in Pearland, about six miles away, were disturbed by the allegations.
Costin lives at the home with his girlfriend and her 5-year-old son.
One woman, who lives two doors down, said she had her suspicions about Costin. Mary Butts said she wouldn’t allow her 4-year-old daughter to attend a recent pool party for Costin’s stepson.
“We didn’t go. I didn’t want my little girl to be in a swimming suit,” Butts said. “I knew something wasn’t right, and I wish I would’ve talked to somebody about it.”
Investigators with Liberty County and Harris County’s Crimes Against Children Task Force said the case against Costin started on Oct. 20 after LCSO deputies responded to a report that a person appeared to have been manufacturing and participating in the making of child pornography.
Several Scan Disk digital memory cards were given to the deputies by the parents of Costin’s girlfriend. The parents found the SD cards in boxes from Costin’s old home near Dayton.
After examining the SD cards, hundreds of photos were found with many depicting Costin sexually assaulting young female children, deputies said.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Kahle said the victims appeared to be drugged and unresponsive in the images.
“They are dressed in what appear to be nightgowns, little girl nightgowns. Some of them look as if they are unresponsive and/or drugged when they are engaged in those sexual acts,” Kahle said.
After follow up investigation by LCSO investigators, other agencies were brought in since it involved multiple jurisdictions. The Department of Homeland Security was also present during Costin’s arrest since he was suspected of planning on leaving the country.
Costin remains in the Harris County jail with without bond. He does have prior arrests for similar offenses and further investigation may involve other charges, deputies said.
The task force is taking the lead in the investigation and attempts are being made to identify the many children in the photographs as it appears the photos may date back as far as 1990.
“We are trying to determine who these girls are, there are no children that we know of that this defendant, they are not relatives,” Kahle said.
Kahle said this is the first time her team has dealt with case with this many victims.
“Our utmost priority is finding out who these children are,” Kahle said. “This is the first time that my immediate team members and I have encountered a case with this many unidentified girls. And that’s our main concern is trying to figure out who these victims are.”
Due to the short period of time that Costin lived in Liberty County, LCSO investigators do not have any evidence that any of the victims are from that area.
However, they ask that if anyone has any information regarding Costin or his activities that would appear suspicious, to contact the LCSO at (936) 336-4500.