A TikTok-famous small-town police chief traded incest videos via a secret Twitter account discovered during a search of his home office, according to a newly unsealed federal complaint reviewed by The Daily Beast.
Joel Justice Womochil, 38, went by “@ictbaddad” on the social media platform now known as X, with a profile picture of “Pedobear”—which the complaint describes as “a pedophilic cartoon utilized by some individuals engaged in the pedophile community.”
“Hello kids :)” read the banner across the top of the now-defunct account’s profile page. Womochil, as @ictbaddad, described himself online as a “38 w male looking 4 that special girl that was raised right and wants 2 continue the tradition,” according to the complaint. “If u luv the little things In life message on Wire same name[.]”
The details of what Womochil allegedly had been seeking out and exchanging online have not been previously revealed.
Womochil became police chief in Burns, Kansas, a town of 250 people, in February 2022, and served until his sudden resignation in early August. He said only that it was in the “best interest of me and this department,” though he continued working part-time as a detention deputy in neighboring Butler County. A little over a week later, Womochil was arrested on state charges of possessing child sexual abuse material. As of Friday, he is now facing two federal counts of receipt and possession of child pornography, with penalties that could put the disgraced lawman behind bars for decades.
In a 2022 interview with the Marion County Record under the headline, “Making a Difference Keeps Deputy Going,” Womochil said he entered law enforcement thanks to “a deep-seated desire to help people who needed it.”
“As I got older, I thought more of myself as a protector,” Womochil told the paper. “I protected those who were bullied or could not protect themselves… [W]hen I stood up for someone, I was respected.”
Womochil has been a U.S. Army combat medic, an armed security guard, a property manager, a correctional officer, and a convenience store manager, according to his LinkedIn profile. As Burns police chief, Womochil was certified as a nonviolent crisis prevention instructor, it notes.
The investigation into Womochil’s alleged crimes began with a tip. Right around the same time Womochil tendered his resignation as Burns police chief, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a CyberTipline report from Synchronoss Technologies, which provides cloud storage for Verizon Wireless customers, saying that a certain account had backed up a dozen video and image files of hardcore child abuse, according to the complaint.
NCMEC officials notified law enforcement, and agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), were assigned to the case. They used “databases available to law enforcement” to trace the account to a phone belonging to Womochil, the complaint states. An analysis of the files turned up an array of abuse material, with a pair of particularly sadistic videos involving young children, the complaint states. (The Daily Beast has redacted the document to excise the most disturbing parts.)
On Aug. 15, HSI had Womochil’s supervisor at the jail call and have him report to work immediately, according to the complaint. When Womochil arrived, he was interviewed by HSI agents, who seized Womochil’s phone after he confirmed he was the sole owner of the device and was the only one who used it.
At the same time, HSI agents spoke with Womochil’s fiancée—herself a police officer in the town of Peabody—at the home the couple shared in El Dorado, Kansas. She directed the agents to Womochil’s home office, where, armed with a search warrant, they seized a laptop, an external hard drive, and “other electronics,” according to the complaint.
The phone, as expected, contained the materials flagged in the CyberTipline report, as well as further images of grotesque abuse, the complaint says.
“During the examination of Womochil’s cellular telephone, investigators located a Twitter (now referred to as X) account… utilizing the username ‘@ictbaddad,’” it goes on, describing the Pedobear avatar and the various other suspicious signs.
Some 15 dick pics had been publicly posted to the account, and agents determined the photos had been taken inside Womochil’s home. Within a few days, HSI had a warrant for the contents of the @ictbaddad account, according to the complaint. (Under Elon Musk’s ownership, child sexual abuse material has proliferated on Twitter, according to researchers.)
They searched @ictbaddad’s DMs, locating a Feb. 14, 2023 conversation with another Twitter/X user who sent @ictbaddad a “real” incest video, after which @ictbaddad inquired about subscription rates to the user’s “premium incest Telegram channel,” the complaint states.
Womochil’s laptop contained “at least” 851 thumbnail images linked to videos and images stored on the hard drive agents took from his residence, according to the complaint.
“During the examination of the external hard drive, numerous images of child exploitation material were located,” it says.
Womochil does not have a lawyer listed in court records, and was unable to be reached for comment. His phone, which is still in HSI custody, went straight to voicemail on Saturday.