Veteran San Francisco California Gay Rights Adcocate Larry Brinkin Arrested For Child Pornography

June 26, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – San Francisco police have arrested veteran gay rights advocate Larry Brinkin in connection with felony possession of child pornography.

Brinkin, 66, who worked for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission before his retirement in 2010, was taken into custody Friday night. He spent the night in jail before he was released on bail, according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.

The district attorney’s office will decide Tuesday whether to file charges. “We’re still reviewing the case,” district attorney’s spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said Monday.

Police say that Brinkin had pornographic images, some that appear to show children as young as 1 and 2 or 3 years old being sodomized and performing oral sex on adult men, in e-mail attachments linked to his account, according to a search warrant served by San Francisco police.

Representatives of America Online contacted authorities after coming across e-mail attachments from one of its subscriber’s accounts containing what they believed to be child pornography.

The Los Angeles Police Department, which was assigned to the case, traced the IP address associated with the account, Zack3737@aol.com, to Brinkin, a San Francisco resident, according to court records. Los Angeles police forwarded the case to San Francisco police.

San Francisco investigators say the account was registered to Brinkin, and that he paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.

Police provided two examples of e-mail messages from last year in which Zack3737 provides disturbing descriptions of the exploitive sexual acts.

The e-mail account also is linked to Yahoo discussion groups on sexual exploitation of young boys and girls, according to the search warrant.

Executing a search warrant Friday, police seized two laptops, a desk top computer, videos, a floppy disk and thumb drives from Brinkin’s Waller Street home.

During his 22-year tenure at the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin was best known for championing equal rights for gays and lesbians. He helped craft San Francisco’s groundbreaking Equal Benefits Ordinance, which became a national model for workplace equality.

Upon Brinkin’s retirement, the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution declaring the week of Feb. 1, 2010, “Larry Brinkin Week” in San Francisco, saying his “dedication to advance the civil rights of all people has never stopped.”

Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty who authored the board resolution, said Monday that he was shocked to learn of Brinkin’s arrest. “I have admired and respected his work for the LGBT community,” Dufty said. “I respect and am confident that there will be due process.”

Brinkin did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

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Pedophile Former Charlotte County Florida Deputy Sheriff Ken Barton Charged With Child Pornography – Previously Investigated After Affairs With Children

June 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE COUNTY FLORIDA – The Charlotte County Sheriff is giving us more in sight into the arrest of a former deputy who is now behind bars. Charged with possessing child porn, Ken Barton was accused of sexual misconduct while he was on the job. Allegations came to light in 2007 when a girl came forward calling barton “Uncle Ken” and claimed that in the early 1980’s when she was 6 to 10 years old, Barton had sexually assaulted her. The investigation into that accusation subsequently led to another accusation that Barton had carried on an affair in the early ’80s with a young lady in the Explorer program in Englewood which Barton was running.

An internal affairs investigation in 2007 of then deputy Ken Barton sustained the allegations of the affair with the teen, but back then the affair was not considered a crime.

“We did not have a crime so we were actually investigating policy violations,” said Sheriff Bill Cameron.

On the original allegation, The sheriff says the department found enough evidence to file a warrant request with the State Attorney’s office, but the State Attorney’s Office says there was not enough evidence to build a case a quarter of a centery after the alleged crime. They also pointed out that the memory of the victim left quite a few gaps in her story.

As for this latest case, Sheriff Cameron was quick to point out that his agency participated with the F.B.I. in Barton’s arrest yesterday.

“The innocent images task force that is doing these investigations- i have a detective assigned to that task force,” said Cameron.

He was also quick to distance his agency from Barton pointing out that the crimes that Barton have been accused of happened five years after Barton left the agency.

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Pedophile Retired San Diego County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. John Frederick Garner Arrested, Charged After Hundreds Of Child Pornography Images Are Found On His Computer And More In His eMail Account – Images Included Infant And Children 5 Through 10 Years Old

May 27, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – A Spring Valley man and former sergeant with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was arrested Friday for possessing and distributing pornographic images of children as young as 5-years-old.

John Frederick Garner had hundreds of images of prepubescent children posing nude or performing sexual acts, according to a federal complaint.

Garner worked at the Sheriff’s Department from 1994 through 2010. His last position was in the George F. Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa, which he retired from in 2010, according to department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.

A Chula Vista police officer working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from Microsoft Corporation that one of their users had uploaded the disturbing images.

The officer served a warrant and seized Garner’s computer from his home on Berkwood Drive, which confirmed that the images were downloaded February 16 through 19 of last year.

Court documents show the officer discovered the images were not only uploaded but also distributed to other users. The complaint described the images of boys and girls most of them ages five through 10. One image depicts an infant, the complaint read.

A statement from Garner’s attorney said the charges are “extremely difficult for him and his family.”

“[Garner] admirably served in the military for 28 years and also served the local law-enforcement community for several years as a deputy sheriff,” said his attorney Kerry Armstrong.

In an interview during the raid, Garner confirmed that he received and distributed child pornography on the computer he shared with his wife, prosecutors alleged.

He also allegedly admitted that he participated in sexual online chats about children.

A seperate investigator in Los Angeles was also looking into an email account that belonged to Garner. The account was identified on the computer the officer seized from Garner’s home. The account contained 50 child pornography images and 12 child pornography videos, as well as several in the “sent” folder,” all distributed between February and June 15 2011, the complaint alleges.

Neighbors were surprised to learn that a federal raid served 6 months ago resulted in Garner’s charges.

Garder is currently in federal custody, and will appear for a bond hearing Friday at 2:30 p.m., Armstrong said.

“I hope to get him released on bond tomorrow so that we can more effectively fight his charges,” Armstrong added.

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Pedophile Loveland Colorado Police Officer Rod Bretches Arrested For Child Pornography And Secret Video Of Woman At His Home That He Shared Online

May 26, 2012

LOVELAND, COLORADO — Loveland police filed charges Friday against a member of the Police Department on allegations he possessed child pornography.

Rod Bretches, 48, faces a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a child and two misdemeanor charges of peeping after his co-workers served a search warrant on his home Tuesday. The felony charge accuses him of having more than 20 pornographic videos and photographs, and the misdemeanors allege he, twice, viewed or recorded a woman in the shower without her knowledge.

Bretches turned himself in and was booked, then released on $10,000 bond — an amount set by 8th Judicial District Court Judge Greg Lammons.

Bretches began his career with the Loveland Police Department as a reserve officer in 1985, then was hired as a police officer in Craig from 1988 to 1993 before returning to serve with the Loveland Police Department for 19 years.

He became one of the department’s first police-dog handlers and has given K9 presentations throughout the community at public safety day, for Scout groups, before community groups and at schools.

There is no indication that any crime occurred while he was on duty or in any police capacity, said Chief Luke Hecker.

Earlier this week, a woman learned a video of her in the shower had been secretly taken at Bretches’ home and shared online, according to family and friends. She reported the alleged violation to Loveland police, and detectives quickly launched an investigation.

Officers served a warrant at Bretches’ home Tuesday and reportedly found child pornography on his personal computer.

Police took his badge and service weapon immediately, then continued to investigate, filing charges Friday with the 8th Judicial District Attorney.

“We treated this like any other case, like any other suspect,” Hecker said.

His officers are reeling with the arrest of one of their own, but are committed to continuing to protect and serve the community with integrity, Hecker said. Counseling and peer support are available to all staff.

“This has been a very difficult investigation for Loveland police, but they have stepped up, heroically and with integrity, and investigated thouroughly and very rapidly,” Hecker said.

“The speed with which the charges were filed and the due diligence our staff put into this and investigating this with integrity is a reflection of the trust people can have in this department.”

During his career, Bretches was involved in many arrests, chases and notable captures and was a visible face of the Loveland Police Department.

He is on paid administrative leave, facing prison time if convicted.

The felony carries a sentence of two to six years in prison, which spikes to 12 years if there are aggravated circumstances, and each misdemeanor could bring up to 24 months in jail.

Bretches, like anyone accused of a crime, is considered innocent until proven guilty, so department policy dictates paid leave until the allegations have played out in court.

The police officer is due to make his first appearance Friday. He is free on bond and has been ordered not to possess any weapons.

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Pedophile Birmingham Alabama Police Officer And Task Force Member Sgt. Patrick Cavan LeBlanc Arrested On Child Pornography Charges – Victim Was Child Family Member

May 26, 2012

HOOVER, ALABAMA – A Birmingham police officer has been arrested on charges of possessing and attempting to produce child pornography.

Patrick Cavan LeBlanc, 44, faces a charge of possession of obscene matter containing visual depiction of person and a second charge of attempted production of obscene matter containing visual depiction.

Hoover Police say the victim in this case was a family member under the age of 17.

LeBlanc was hired by the Birmingham Police Department Aug. 9, 1990. He was assigned to a city-wide task force and held the rank of sergeant, according to Birmingham Police Sergeant Johnny Williams.

Williams says LeBlanc was placed on administrative leave once the Birmingham Police Department learned of the Hoover Police Department’s investigation of LeBlanc. Hoover police began their investigation a week ago after receiving information about a possible suspect in a child pornography case.

“We were notified at the onset of their investigation and we fully support their efforts in conducting their investigation,” Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said.

The Birmingham Police Department is conducting an internal investigation in addition to the Hoover Police investigation.

LeBlanc turned himself in to the Hoover Police Department Friday, May 25. He was booked into the Hoover City Jail and then taken to the Jefferson County Jail. Police say his bond on both charges is $45,000.

LeBlanc’s arrest occurred on the same day that another Birmingham police officer, Curtis Thornton, was charged in an arson investigation in Warrior.

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Pedophile Former “Top” FBI Agent Donald Sachtleben Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography – Currently Visiting Professor At Oklahoma State University, But All References To Him Suddenly Disappeared From Their Web Site

May 15, 2012

CARMEL, INDIANA – A former supervisory FBI agent has been arrested and jailed on child pornography charges.

Donald Sachtleben was taken into custody and charged Monday after a nationwide undercover investigation of illegal child porn images traded over the Internet.

The 54-year-old resident of Carmel, Indiana, has pleaded not guilty and has a detention hearing in federal court Wednesday.

A federal complaint alleges 30 graphic images and video were found on Sachtleben’s laptop computer late last week when FBI agents searched his home, about 23 miles north of Indianapolis.

The arrest was a result a months-long probe, said the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Joseph Hogsett.

“The mission of our Project Safe Childhood initiative is to investigate and prosecute anyone found to (be) engaged in the sexual exploitation of children,” Hogsett said in a news release. “No matter who you are, you will be brought to justice if you are found guilty of such criminal behavior.”

Sachtleben is currently an Oklahoma State University visiting professor, according to his online resume. He is director of training at the school’s Center for Improvised Explosives, but all references to his work have now been removed from the university’s website. There was no indication from the school as to whether it had suspended him. Calls to the university and his Indianapolis attorneys were not immediately returned.

He had been an FBI special agent from 1983 to 2008, serving as a bomb technician. He worked on the Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber investigations, according to his university biography.

A separate LinkedIn profile filled out by Sachtleben says he is an “accomplished investigator with more than 25 years of experience in FBI major case management, counter terrorism investigations, bombing prevention, post blast investigations and public speaking.”

According to the criminal complaint, a federal-state joint task force had been investigating an Illinois man allegedly trading child porn images as far back as September 2010. That suspect was arrested in January, and a search of his computer reportedly led to Sachtleben, who was using the e-mail name pedodave69.

According to the affidavit, an e-mail from that account was sent to the Illinois suspect last fall, along with nine images of child porn. “Saw your profile on (a file sharing network). Hope you like these and can send me some of ours (sic). I have even better ones if you like.” Prosecutors say Sachtleben sent that e-mail.

Sachtleben’s wife was interviewed by agents during the execution of the search warrant and denied any involvement with child porn. She was not taken into custody.

FBI officials in Washington had no comment on the arrest.

If convicted, Sachtleben would face up to 20 years in prison on the charge of distribution of child porn, and an additional 10 years for possession.

The Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative was launched in 2006, leading to what federal officials call a more than 40% increase in the number of cases investigated. The project’s website says 2,700 indictments were filed last year alone.

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Highest Court In New York State Legalizes Viewing Of Child Pornography – Pedophiles Can Still Be Prosecuted At Federal Level Until State’s Defective Laws Are Fixed

May 15, 2012

NEW YORK – In the wake of a New York court ruling that says it’s not illegal to “merely” view online child pornography, child advocates are urging Internet-savvy federal prosecutors to take over these kinds of cases as two state lawmakers rush to fix the law.

It is “a singular outrage that the highest court in New York has decriminalized the act of viewing child pornography by computer,” Patrick Trueman, president and chief executive of Morality in Media, said after the May 8 ruling by the New York Court of Appeals.

The high court unanimously agreed to reverse two of the dozens of child-pornography counts against a former college professor, saying there was no evidence the professor did more than look at some images on his computer.

The ruling resulted in a spate of head-spinning headlines like Gawker.com’s “Viewing Child Porn Online Officially A-OK in New York State” and “Looking at Child Porn Is Totally Legal in New York State” by the Atlantic Wire.

Mr. Trueman, a former federal prosecutor, said that until the law is fixed, all child-pornography cases in New York “that cannot now be prosecuted in New York state courts as a result of the court’s decision” should be handled in federal court by U.S. attorneys and prosecutors with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“This will mean that there will be a lot more child porn cases in the federal system, but it is a much better situation than letting these child pornographers go,” Mr. Trueman said.

Two New York lawmakers have already jumped into action.

In a press release headlined “New York must close loophole that protects perverts,” New York state Sen. Martin J. Golden said he had introduced a bill saying that a person who “knowingly accesses [child pornography] with intent to view” has committed a felony crime.

“Child pornography is highly offensive” and it “should not matter if you view it, read it or download it. Simply the fact that you are viewing it is a crime, and New York should treat it as such,” said Mr. Golden.

New York state Assemblyman Joseph Lentol sponsored a similar bill in his chamber.

The high court ruling stemmed from an appeal by James D. Kent, 65, a former Marist College professor of public administration who was convicted on 136 counts of procuring and possessing child pornography in 2009.

He is currently serving a prison sentence of one to three years.

Following a routine computer upgrade in 2007, Kent’s work computer was found to contain deleted evidence of more than 30,000 images of young girls, including ones depicting children “engaged in sexual intercourse with adults,” “engaged in oral sex and sexual intercourse with dogs, adults and other children,” and “lewd exhibition of the exposed genitals of female children,” the high court wrote.

The photos and videos were downloaded and saved onto Kent’s computer between 2005 and 2007, and sorted into files and documents with names like “Arina,” “Jim” and JK,” the ruling said.

Kent initially “denied any knowledge” of the images, but later said he had been working on “a potential research project on the regulation of child pornography.”

In Kent’s appeal, lawyer Nathan Z. Dershowitz argued that just “accessing and displaying” Web images of child pornography was not illegal possession under state law.

The high court agreed, saying that to be guilty of possession, a defendant’s conduct “must exceed mere viewing to encompass more affirmative acts of control, such as printing, downloading or saving,” Senior Associate Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for the majority. “To hold otherwise would extend the reach” of the law “to conduct – viewing – that our Legislature has not deemed criminal.”

“I do not support this view,” Associate Judge Victoria A. Graffeo wrote in a separate but concurring opinion, joined by Associate Judge Eugene F. Pigott.

“Because I conclude that the Legislature recognized that a child is victimized each time an image of the child is knowingly viewed, I believe that this conduct” is illegal, she wrote.

Despite not agreeing with her colleagues, Judges Graffeo and Pigott voted to strike Kent’s conviction.

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Pedophile Milwaukee Wisconsin Sheriff’s Sergeant Phil Wentzel Quits After Child Pornography/Molestation Arrest – Drugged, Molested, And Photographed Girls 6 To 14 – Uploaded Pictures To Internet From Home And Work

May 8, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The Milwaukee County sheriff’s sergeant who has been accused of producing child porn resigned effective Monday, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

That immediately stops the internal investigation that the sheriff’s office had initiated last week.

“We did initiate an internal investigation, hence he resigned today,” Capt. Scott Stiff said Monday. “Effective immediately, he’s no longer employed with our agency, so there’s no need to conduct any further (investigation).”

Phil Wentzel, a former spokesman for the office, was accused in a federal complaint Thursday of taking photos of girls between 6 and 14 years old at a campsite in Campbellsport in Fond du Lac County, where he had rented a spot for his recreational vehicle since 2008.

Wentzel, 41, is accused of producing most of the child porn in April 2011, but files were created starting in May 2010, a criminal complaint states. He shared the photos in seven different photo albums through an Internet peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

Wentzel admitted to the FBI that he drugged and molested girls and took pornographic pictures of them, U.S. Attorney James Santelle said in a news release Friday. Wentzel also said he had a difficult time controlling his urges.

The complaint states he had accessed his accounts from several computers, including Milwaukee County computers in August 2011.

Arrested last week

He was arrested May 2 at the Sheriff’s Department and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

It was a search warrant in Denver that led investigators to the images.

According to the criminal complaint, Wentzel agreed to fully cooperate and give investigators the password to an encrypted hard drive they seized from his West Allis home in exchange for a tentative plea agreement and a reduced prison sentence.

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said in a statement to media last week that he was “disgusted with the nature of the allegations against the deputy as they were briefed to him.” He had no further comment while the issue is under investigation.

If convicted, Wentzel is facing a minimum of 15 years in jail and a maximum of 30 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Pedophile Veteran Long Beach California Police Officer Arrested And Charged With Child Pornography After Seeking Sex With Teen While On Duty

April 21, 2012

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – A nine-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department has been arrested on suspicion of felony possession of child pornography after reportedly meeting a teenager while on patrol and soliciting explicit photographs of the youth through electronic messages, police said.

Noe Yanez, 40, was taken into custody Thursday evening by Long Beach police after an investigation that began earlier this month. The alleged victim had told a school resources officer about the messages and authorities were alerted. Detectives served several search warrants in the investigation of Yanez’s home and other establishments for records of the communications.

Yanez first came into contact with the minor during the course of his work as a patrolman, police said. He initially contacted the teen through text messages and subsequently solicited inappropriate photographs of the victim, according to the department. Yanez was suspended without pay Thursday pending the resolution of the criminal and administrative investigation.

Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have not ruled out the possibility of other victims. Department investigators have obtained computer data and phone records seeking to verify the extent of the activity, the sources said.

“Not only are the actions of this officer a violation of the law, they are a violation of the community’s trust and a violation of the principles of this department,” Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. “The men and women of this department take great pride in the good work they do every day with the community, and we will not allow the actions of this one officer to compromise that relationship.” McDonnell said the investigation is ongoing, but authorities i believed an arrest was warranted at this time.

The accusation comes one year after another Long Beach officer was booked after his wife found him having sex with a minor. That detective, Erik Alvarez of Upland, subsequently resigned and was convicted of having a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 15. He received a two-year sentence in state prison.

Yanez was being held on $20,000 bail Thursday at the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail. Long Beach detectives are planning to present the case to the county district attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division, which specializes in prosecuting law enforcement officials and lawyers. Long Beach police declined Friday to release a photo of the officer or give more details about the victim.

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Boston Massachusetts TSA Agent Jose E. Salgado Arrested And Charged With Child Pornography – One Of 55 Pedophiles Charged And/Or Arrested In Week-Long Sweep Relating To Offenses Against Children

April 11, 2012

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Cops snared 55 Massachusetts men in a sweeping, multi-agency child pornography crackdown — including a Transportation Security Administration officer assigned to Logan International Airport who is just the latest embarrassment for the troubled federal agency.

TSA agent Jose E. Salgado, 59, of Chelsea was suspended from his job after his employers learned that local law enforcement agencies are pursuing criminal charges against him for the possession and sharing of pornographic images of children.

“TSA has been cooperating fully with our law enforcement partners during the investigation into this matter,” TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said. “Upon learning of these charges, TSA took immediate action and the individual is not working at the airport.”

Periodic arrests of TSA agents on sex charges across the nation have fueled criticism of the agency’s screening of its own employees, tasked with patting down the traveling public and keeping the airways safe. At least two other TSA officers assigned to Logan have faced sex charges in the past two years. Sex charges against others have been reported in Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia and other states.

Salgado could not be reached for comment last night. He has been charged but was not arrested. His name surfaced hours after representatives of more than 20 Bay State police departments announced the arrest of 32 men in Operation Corral, a weeklong roundup of child pornography suspects across the state.

“This is just a drop in the bucket,” said state police Sgt. Michael Hill of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Suspects were targeted in East Boston, Hyde Park, Revere, Dedham, Arlington, Brockton, Lowell, Worcester, New Bedford, Haverhill, Marblehead, Natick, Middleboro, Scituate, Taunton, South Harwich, North Attleboro, Milford, Seekonk, Somerset, Oak Bluffs, Oxford, Amesbury, Belchertown, Granby and Stockbridge. Authorities say they are now pursuing criminal complaints in eight more cases, and 14 more investigations are ongoing.

“We’re going to be doing this for a long time,” Hill said.

Operation Corral kicked off in January, when representatives of local, state and federal agencies began digging into computer-based file exchange networks, once used for sharing music, but now used to exchange illegal photos and videos. Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of the Boston field office of Homeland Security Investigations, said trained computer investigators tracked the accused by following their digital footprints.

“A lot of times the criminals don’t even realize they left things behind,” he said.

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Boston Massachusetts TSA Screener Andrew Cheever Sentenced To Just 3 1/2 Years In Prison For Child Pornography

March 29, 2012

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – A former employee of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has been sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison for possessing child pornography.

Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Andrew Cheever of Lowell was sentenced Wednesday to three years and five months behind bars and two years of probation. He was also ordered to read victim impact statements of six children depicted in the pornography he collected.

He pleaded guilty in December.

Authorities say Cheever had thousands of child pornography images and videos on his home computer and made them available on the Internet using peer-to-peer file sharing software.

Cheever was a security checkpoint screener at Logan International Airport until he was taken into custody in September.

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Bored London UK Court Clerk Busted Surfing Porn Sites During Rape Trial Pleads Guilty

February 8, 2012

LONDON, UK – A veteran London court clerk caught surfing porn sites during a rape trial said he did so “because he was bored.”

Debasish Majumder, 54, pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct in public office and five counts of possession of indecent images, the U.K. Daily Mail newspaper reported.

The prosecution alleged Majumder viewed about 30 images between Dec. 9 and 10 during a rape trial. The judge sitting behind him said he noticed the filthy photos as the victim in the case was testifying.

“He said that he watched a lot of internet porn, he said that at work there were moments in his day that were boring and he would surf the net not to get access to sites but to get the titles of sites to use on his home computer and normally sites were blocked,” the paper quoted prosecutor Annabel Darlow as saying.

Police later found evidence of child porn at Majumder’s home, the Mail reported.

He will be sentenced later this month once his medical reports are in.

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Pedophile New York City Auxilary Police Officer Capt. Daniel Sayers Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Two Raids Uncover His Huge Collection Of Child Pornography

February 3, 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – An NYPD auxiliary officer was arrested in Orange County Thursday for allegedly having a huge collection of child pornography.

Police say Daniel Sayers, who is listed on the auxiliary website as a captain, had hundreds of photos of boys under the age of 16 engaging in sexual acts. The pictures were discovered in two raids.

Sayers had also received an award sponsored by President Barack Obama for his services.

Sayers was a 20-year resident of Blooming Grove and was in the process of moving to a rental property in Greenwood Lake. Police say his landlord saw some of his moving boxes and noticed disturbing photos before contacting authorities.

Sayers has been suspended by the NYPD and is being held at the Orange County Jail.

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Veteran Wylie Texas Police Officer Suspended After Child Pornography And Lewd Images Found On His Home Computer – Female Dispatcher And Another Civilian Employee Also Suspended

January 25, 2012

WYLIE, TEXAS – The Wylie Police Department put a veteran patrolman on paid administrative leave on Tuesday after questions of lewd behavior and child pornography surfaced late Monday night.

The pictures allegedly taken from the policeman’s home computer aren’t just personal, they’re pornographic.

“It’s absolutely not reflective of this agency or the police profession,” said Det. Venece Perepiczka a Wylie Police spokeswoman.

Images posted on the internet show what appears to be the officer in a sexual act with a woman. Another picture shows a woman posing naked next to a Wylie police badge and doing an obscene act with a Glock pistol.

But even more concerning are pictures of child porn.

They’re all believed to have been stolen from the policeman’s personal computer and then sent to every e-mail address in his contact list on Monday night.

Even though Wylie named its officer under investigation, News 8 has decided not to reveal his identity, since he has not been charged with a crime.

In addition to suspending him, Wylie also put a female dispatcher and another civilian employee on paid administrative leave because they appeared in some pictures.

“What Wylie administration will be investigating is the officer’s conduct and how that relates to him being a police officer here,” Det. Perepiczka added.

But Wylie also asked the Texas Rangers to launch an investigation, along with the Garland Police Department, since the Wylie officer actually lives there.

“We contacted him at his home,” explained Ofc. Joe Harn, a Garland Police spokesman. “He was very cooperative. He gave us consent… and we did take his computer.”

The veteran patrolman has worked at Wylie for 13 years.

He used to be a sergeant but was demoted to an officer, Det. Perepiczka confirmed, though it’s uncertain why.

The policeman’s telephone is disconnected and he did not immediately respond to an e-mail Tuesday night.

Garland Police said officers will get a search warrant to look at the officer’s computer, but it might be a couple weeks until they figure out what, if anything, is on the hard drive.

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U.S. State Department Security Officer James Cafferty Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography

January 6, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of State diplomatic security officer recently snared in an undercover FBI child pornography investigation yesterday pleaded guilty to a single felony count, pursuant to a deal struck with federal prosecutors.

By copping to transporting child porn, James Cafferty, 45, now faces a mandatory minimum prison term of five years (though a judge could sentence him to up to 20 years in custody). Cafferty, who most recently was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in London, is seen in the mug shot at right.

In a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Cafferty admitted that when he returned to the U.S. from England in August, he carried three hard drives containing up to 15,000 child porn images (both photos and videos). Digital storage media found in Cafferty’s Largo, Florida home during a law enforcement search contained more than 30,000 child porn images.

During questioning by federal agents, Cafferty “admitted ‘photo-shopping’ himself into scenes constituting child pornography.”

Cafferty, who is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23, first came to the attention of federal agents in the course of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement probe that was launched in April 2006. The ICE investigation identified 5000 U.S. residents, including Cafferty, who had paid to subscribe to web sites offering child pornography. According to the plea agreement, Cafferty “was flagged” as a State Department employee who had purchased access to several of the illicit sites, including “Sick Room.”

In mid-2011, Department of Defense investigators enlisted the FBI’s help in its probe of Cafferty. Since the security officer’s subscriptions dated back several years, agents “reinitiated the investigation to determine if Cafferty was still utilizing the Internet via his Yahoo email accounts to access child pornography.”

That “reinitiation” involved an undercover FBI web site purporting to offer illicit videos for free. As detailed by TSG four months ago, that operation targeted Cafferty, who was reeled in by federal agents after he logged into the undercover site (from an IP address in London) and sought to download a video purporting to depict “a 9-10 y.o. girl and man” engaged in a variety of sexual activity.

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Massachusetts TSA Agent Busted With Child Pornography Pleads Guilty

December 23, 2011

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – A former employee of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has pleaded guilty to having thousands of child pornography images and videos on his home computers.

Federal prosecutors said Andrew Cheever, 34, of Lowell entered his plea on Monday and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 22.

Authorities said Cheever made the images available on the Internet using peer-to-peer file sharing software.

Cheever had worked for the TSA since 2007 and was a security checkpoint screener at Logan International Airport until he was taken into custody in September.

He no longer works for the TSA.

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Baltimore Maryland TSA Officer Michael Scott Wilson Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography

October 12, 2011

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — A Transportation Security Administration security officer is out on bail after he was arrested and charged with child pornography.

Michael Scott Wilson, 41, has been suspended from his job following the arrest.

Wilson was charged Monday with possession and distribution of child pornography after agents searched his Perry Hall home.

Neighbors said he’s married with no children. They said they’re stunned and disturbed by the charges, especially since most of them described Wilson as a straight-laced federal worker who took pride in his position and the trust that comes with it.

“As a parent, it’s disturbing to find out that someone is living so close, especially employed in his capacity,” said neighbor Malik Kelly.

“I travel sometimes twice a week, so to think that one of those screeners could live in your neighborhood and face charges like this is alarming. Definitely alarming,” said neighbor Brian Ryerson.

The TSA released a statement regarding Wilson’s arrest, saying, “The TSA holds its security officers to the highest professional and ethical standards and aggressively investigates allegations of misconduct. The allegations against this individual in no way reflect on the outstanding job our more than 50,000 security officers do every day to ensure the security of the traveling public.”

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Department Of Homeland Security Official Anthony Mangione Suspended, Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography In Florida

September 28, 2011

MIAMI, FLORIDA – The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for south Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.

“According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” the statement said. “The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period.”

Mangione was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

During the appearance, Mangione pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to CNN affiliate WPTV. Both the prosecution and the defense requested he undergo a psychological evaluation, and the judge approved that request.

“The government has concerns that given the magnitude of the charges, that he might melt down,” defense attorney David Howard told WPTV. “So there is … real concern, and it’s going to be addressed.”

Mangione, a 27-year law enforcement veteran, wore a gray jumpsuit with “federal prisoner” on the back in court Wednesday, and his hands and feet were shackled, WPTV said. He made no statement during the hearing.

He was being held in the Broward County, Florida, jail, according to jail records.

A law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Mangione has been on leave from his job at ICE. WPTV reported he was placed on paid administrative leave in April amid a federal investigation into four images on his home computer he allegedly received via e-mail.

According to its website, ICE targets and investigates child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators and human smugglers and traffickers of minors, among others. The agency developed Operation Predator, which it describes as “an initiative to identify, investigate and arrest child predators and sexual offenders.”

If convicted, Mangione faces up to 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said. He also faces a term of supervised release from five years to life following his prison sentence and he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Asked about the Mangione case on Wednesday at a news conference on another matter, ICE director John Morton said his agency cooperated fully with the investigation, but he declined to comment further.

The case is being investigated by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, the Department of Justice said. Broward County referred questions to federal authorities, and the FBI referred them to the Department of Justice.

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Kingsport Tennessee Police Officer Richard Chandler Used Neighbors, Businesses, And Church Routers To Access Child Pornography Network – Sometimes While On Duty

August 16, 2011

KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE – Investigators say a former Kingsport police
officer accessed child pornography over wireless networks belonging to
neighbors, businesses and a church.

Richard Chandler is one of 72 people indicted in an investigation
into an international child pornography network that prosecutors say
used an online bulletin board called Dreamboard to access thousands of
images and videos of sexually abused children.

WJHL-TV reports that the federal search
warrant alleges Chandler made 117 posts to the site, including twice
when he was on duty.

According to court papers, members used screen names rather than
actual names and accessed the bulletin board via proxy servers, with
Internet traffic routed through other computers to disguise a user’s
location.

Special agents said Chandler was able to access the Internet from
more than 30 locations, including one belonging to the Higher Ground
Baptist Church.

“Chandler’s residence … is uniquely positioned such that numerous
wireless networks from adjacent streets appear to be accessible,”
according to the warrant.

The Kingsport church’s network is now password protected.

“As soon as we found out we took care of it,” said Wayne Bledsoe, who is in charge of pastoral care.

Another connection allegedly accessed by Chandler belonged to Marty Blevins.

“To believe that man’s in there going online on my account to get on
there to do something like that with children and stuff, I hope he rots
in jail,” he said. “That’s putting it nicely.”

The U.S. indictments were unsealed in Shreveport. La. The Greeneville
attorney listed as representing Chandler did not return a message from
The Associated Press seeking comment.

Blevins said he planned to change to increase his security settings.

“I don’t want nobody on my stuff,” Blevins said. “I want it private.”

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Child Pornography Remains Legal In Russia – Content Hosted On Servers There Is Available On The Internet

June 4, 2011

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – Keen, bright-eyed and earnest, the little boy answers the Russian investigator’s questions enthusiastically, as if describing a cartoon, not sexual abuse.

“He took off my underwear and photographed me,” says the victim, whom Russian authorities are not allowing to be identified.

The boy goes on to describe sexual abuse at the hands of his own father. Without this testimony, child advocates say, it would be impossible to convict the man, whose trial begins later this year.

In Russia, possessing child pornography is not a crime and laws that govern child exploitation are weak. Government authorities say the majority of sexual crimes against children are never reported or investigated.

Those are among the reasons that even the Russian government admits the country is a world leader in the production of child pornography.

Russian lawmaker Elena Mizulina has been painstakingly shepherding a bill through the country’s parliament that would finally protect children.

“For the first time people will be held criminally responsible for storing child pornography even if they don’t distribute it. To this day, you can’t punish anyone for that” in Russia, Mizulina said. The bill has now passed its second of three readings in Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of the legislature.

The law can’t come soon enough for victims. According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, more than 800 cases of sexual abuse were reported in the first three months of this year, an increase of 13%.

“Analysis of such crimes indicates that sexual assaults against the integrity of minors and their rights and freedoms is mostly stemming from the lack of control by parents, guardians, as well as officials of educational institutions and local government officials,” said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee.

Yet even with stronger laws, it is the testimony of young children that will ultimately bring punishment to those who prey on children.

Yevgeny Tsymbal, director of a Children’s Psychology Center in Moscow, told CNN that weak laws and lack of evidence usually help the abusers avoid detection and punishment.

“These crimes usually go on for a long time,” he said, adding that because physical signs of abuse are often not apparent, “these crimes are very rarely discovered.”

The Internet is also a haven for child pornographers in Russia. This week, the Kremlin’s child advocate, Pavel Astakhov, spoke in favor of a more stringent policy to force Internet providers to take responsibility for child pornography sites hosted on their servers and social networks.

“A person who wants to find this content on the Internet, this person can do it pretty easily,” said Mark Tverdynin, director of Saferunet.ru, an initiative that is trying to scrub the Russian Internet clean of child pornography. The charity says it shut down as many as 7,000 such sites this past fall and winter.

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Pedophile Police Officer Wannabe Arrested In San Diego California After Telling On Himself In Application

May 18, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — A man who applied for a job as a San Diego police officer was arrested after answers on his application raised red flags.

On his questionnaire to work for the San Diego Police Department, Robert Williams had to answer questions about crimes he might have committed.

A search warrant affidavit lists question No. 172 from Williams’ applicant questionnaire as trouble.

The question, which asked applicants if they have ever had sexual contact with a child, had a yes answer.

Question No. 175, which asked applicants if they have ever viewed, purchased, sold or subscribed to child pornography, also received a yes response.

10News learned there were two more flagged questions and responses.

Police then searched Williams’ car and apartment, confiscated computers and hard drives and arrested him.

Williams had lived at an apartment in Chula Vista for about a week. A man who answered the door told 10News, “He was a guest and he’s no longer living here. He won’t live here anymore.”

In April, Williams had moved in with a woman and her son in east San Diego.

“I did a favor and brought him in because he had nowhere to go and he gave me a sob story,” said Rory Shipp.

She said one day she turned on her computer and found a strange file after Williams left his hard drive hooked up.

“And when I opened the file, it was a little girl in blue and she was coming out of her clothes, playing with a little thing in her mouth. Oh my God, tears came out of my eyes. It was a home video,” she said.

Shipp said she kicked him out that day.

“He goes, ‘There’s nothing wrong with downloading it, Rory, nothing at all. Looking at it and downloading it, that’s okay.’ I said, ‘Are you sick?'” said Shipp.

Williams’ wife, Sunem, called 10News to read a statement from him. It said, “The San Diego Police Department has problems with the integrity of their officers because telling the truth during the hiring process brings prosecution upon those seeking employment. Mr. Williams told the truth, revealing his secrets, his thoughts, and his past. But he remains innocent of all charges they have illegally obtained. He is seeking expert counsel, pro bono.”

Williams was booked at the George Bailey Detention Facility. His bail was set at $150,000.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

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Philadelphia Pennsylvania TSA Agent Thomas Gordon Jr. Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography

April 23, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A passenger screener at Philadelphia International Airport is facing charges that he distributed more than 100 images of child pornography via Facebook, records show.

Federal agents also allege that Transportation Safety Administration Officer Thomas Gordon Jr. of Philadelphia, who routinely searched airline passengers, uploaded explicit pictures of young girls to an Internet site on which he also posted a photograph of himself in his TSA uniform.

Homeland Security agents arrested the TSA officer March 24, and he is being held without bail.

Although the case was unsealed Thursday, neither the indictment nor the news release mentioned Gordon’s job searching airline passengers for TSA.

The arrest comes as TSA grapples with several other incidents involving screeners, including a YouTube video posted last week by parents angry about the pat-down their 6-year-old daughter received at an airport in New Orleans. TSA officials said the pat-down was proper; the parents said the girl was “groped.”

Citing privacy rules, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis would not say if Gordon has been suspended from his job, but noted that he had been in federal custody since his arrest.

“We can assure the public that he is no longer working at the airport,” Davis said.

Gordon began working as a TSA screener at the Philadelphia airport in December 2005, Davis said. The airport has 900 screeners, she said.

If convicted of the child pornography charges, Gordon, 46, faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years. The maximum prison term is 250 years and the top fine is $3.2 million.

Gordon is paid $37,000 annually as a TSA screener, records show. He has no prior criminal record, officials said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Levy, chief of his office’s child exploitation unit, declined to comment Friday.

Gordon’s lawyer, Elizabeth Toplin, an assistant federal public defender, could not be reached for comment via e-mail or phone late Friday.

Tipped by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, federal agents began investigating Gordon on March 10, according to an affidavit from a Homeland Security Investigations agent.

The tip allegedly included evidence that Gordon had uploaded five explicit photographs of young girls onto the web site Photobucket.

The federal agent alleged that Gordon’s Photobucket account also included a picture of him wearing his blue TSA uniform.

The indictment alleges that Gordon used at least six Facebook accounts and employed multiple names “to upload and store images of sexual exploitation of minor children.”

The charges detail 104 illicit photographs allegedly uploaded over four weeks in February.

Authorities also seized from Gordon an HP laptop and a four-gigabyte flash drive that they say contained more than 600 images or movies containing child pornography, according to court filings.

Gordon’s job as a TSA screener was in jeopardy last year for unrelated reasons, according to an online newsletter of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Citing a family issue, it said Gordon was having “difficulty maintaining his work schedule.” The union lawyer helped convince TSA officials that a change in shift schedule resolved the problem, the newsletter said, and Gordon returned to work.

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Oklahoma City Oklahoma Police Officer Maurice Martinez Arrested, Faces 36 Felony Charges For Sexually Abusing Children, Child Pornography, And Child Abuse

April 22, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — An Oklahoma City police officer was in jail Friday night and officially charged with 36 felonies and one misdemeanor for the alleged sexual abuse of several children.

Officer Maurice Martinez has been under investigation since January, when six of his adopted children were taken into state custody. He was arrested and a search warrant executed on their home.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Martinez was abusing children as young as 12.

Investigators said the behavior went on for years, but the officer was repeatedly allowed to adopt children and bring them into his home.

Investigators said Martinez had several images if children on his iPhone and computer. They said he kept his phone locked all the time and only allowed the children to use the phone in his presence.

According to court documents, he allowed his adopted children to physically abuse each other and never notified the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Investigators said they seized videos from his home showing children getting “pummeled by other children” and “hit over the head by Martinez.” A child said he had “food poured on him” and he was “locked outside,” police said.

Since the investigation and Martinez’s first arrest in January, police said he has accused of intimidating witnesses from cooperating with police, conspired with a teenager to break into his home and steal evidence before police could seize it and gave $400 to another victim to send him on a bus to Utah to obstruct the investigation.

Martinez was booked into jail on April 15. He is still in jail, and a bond has not been set.

Martinez is charged with 32 counts of sexual abuse of a child, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of child abuse, among other charges.

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UK Judge Peter Fox Puts Child Molester Back On The Street – Pedophile Had Sex With 13 Year Old Girl And Downloaded Child Pornography

April 4, 2011

UK – A judge has been criticised for allowing a child sex pervert to walk free from court after accepting that the defendant had been ‘seduced’ by a 13-year-old.

David Barnes, 24, engaged in ‘cyber-sex’ with a 13-year-old schoolgirl and downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures and short films – one of which showed the rape of a handcuffed five-year-old girl.

But Judge Peter Fox QC said a short prison sentence would not prevent him from reoffending.

A national victims’ group hit out saying it was ‘intellectually, ethically, morally’ wrong to lay any blame on the 13-year-old girl and described the sentencing as ‘abhorrent’.

Judge Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled to say the least’ at his decision.

Shop worker Barnes could have been jailed up to six months, but was allowed discount on his punishment because he pleaded guilty to the charges and was of previous good character.

Barnes, of Darlington, admitted 17 specimen charges of making indecent images and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The 24-year-old was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and 300 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He was also told by the judge that a sex offender treatment programme he was placed upon was not available to him behind bars.

 
More…

    * Jon Venables went on foreign holiday alone when he was meant to be under supervision
    * Carpenter John Sweeney found guilty of murdering two women and dumping body parts in canal

‘Many people must be puzzled to say the very least at the leniency of the guideline sentencing,’ the judge said.

‘I, of course, express no view. If I sent you to prison it would be for a matter of a few weeks only, hence, as I say, the puzzlement that many people would have about that.

‘The weeks you wound spend in prison would do nothing to stop you doing this again. My concern is for the future – the protection of other children.’

Guidelines suggest community sentences for inciting children to engage in sexual activity and up to six months jail for the most serious pornography.
Ruling: Judge Peter Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled’ by his decision

Ruling: Judge Peter Fox admitted people would be ‘puzzled’ by his decision

Last night, a spokesman for the National Victims Association described it as ‘abhorrent’ that Barnes should, ‘in effect, go unpunished’.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Barnes was arrested at his family home in October 2009 following an operation carried out by Staffordshire Police.

Operation Bamboo officers were investigating chat-room conversations a 13-year-old girl from Stoke was having with a number of adult males.

When they raided Barnes’s home, they recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children – some in the most serious category.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said one short film was of a five-year-old girl being raped as she had her legs strapped to a bar and her wrists in handcuffs.

During the chat-room conversations, the teenager was encouraged to do intimate things while Barnes watched on a web-cam.

Kieran Rainey, mitigating, said the girl encouraged Barnes – then aged 22 – by saying she liked older people, but accepted he should have ‘disengaged’.

Mr Rainey said his client had a small circle of friends – as the son of a career army officer who moved around the country – and ‘character flaws’.

Judge Fox said it was difficult to reconcile the hard-working and highly thought-of young man written of in references with a child sex fiend.

He said: ‘I accept it has been a dreadful shock to your mother, to your father and to your grandmother and to those others who have known you.

‘And in addition (to the images), there was your perverted activities over the internet with the 13-year-old, who, I accept, appears to have seduced you.’

Teesside Crown Court heard that a woman had been arrested as a result of Melles’ allegations

Teesside Crown Court heard police recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children from Barnes’s home

Last night, the National Victims Association described as ‘incomprehensible’ the suggestion that the girl could have seduced Barnes.

Spokesman Neil Atkinson said: ‘Thirteen-year-olds have to be protected. It goes without saying, they are children.

‘Intellectually, ethically and legally, this girl – or anyone of that age – could not possibly have been on the same level as a man in his 20s.

‘The judge is right, however, when he says most people will be disturbed by an adult receiving a suspended sentence for engaging in activity such as this.

‘It is abhorrent that anyone in their 20s should, in effect, go unpunished for something that could have led to a far more serious offence.

‘Intellectually, ethically, morally and in every other way you can’t point the finger at a 13-year-old and blame her. She is no match for a 22-year-old.’

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Veteran Harrington Delaware Police Officer Jonathan Kendall Arrested, Jailed, Charged With Child Pornography

March 19, 2011

HARRINGTON, DELAWARE – An investigation by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force has resulted in the arrest of a veteran Harrington police officer on multiple child pornography and related charges.

Jonathan Kendall, 37, of Lincoln, is charged with 27 counts of dealing in child pornography, one count of hindering prosecution and official misconduct.

According to Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Jason Miller, officers from the Child Predator Task Force and Delaware State Police Troop 4 initially executed a search warrant on Jan. 19 at Kendall’s home on North Union Church Road. Officers seized a computer and other evidence. A forensic analysis uncovered evidence of dealing in child pornography, Miller said.

Kendall was taken into custody Thursday, March 10 at DSP Troop 3. At that time of his arrest, two additional search warrants- which were obtained based on the evidence seized during the execution of the Jan. 19 search- were executed at Kendall’s home and vehicle.

Additional evidence was recovered from Kendall’s vehicle and home, according to Miller.

After a review of all the evidence, Kendall was charged with the aforementioned offenses. He is being held in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $272,000 secured bond. Kendall was a Harrington police officer at the time of the investigation, Miller said. According to Harrington Police Chief Norman R. Barlow, Kendall was a 17-year-old veteran with the agency, with the rank of sergeant.

In a statement issued shortly after the announcement of Kendall’s arrest, Barlow said, “It is certainly a sad day when one of our own has been arrested, and it is an disappointment. I want to assure the citizens of Harrington that I will diligently work hard to move our department past this incident and provide the police service they expect.”

As a result of the charges filed against him, Kendall has been suspended from the Harrington Police Department, Barlow said.

Thursday’s arrest came the same day that a federal grand jury indicted 29-year-old Shane Kiser of Millsboro on charges of attempted enticement of a minor and receipt and possession of child pornography. Kiser was arrested Oct. 16 at a Dover-area hotel as the result of a Child Predator Task Force investigation. According to authorities, Kiser had agreed during an Internet chat to drive to the hotel to have sex with the investigator’s fictional child.

Kiser was a registered nurse who was employed at Beebe Hospital and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md.

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Feds Wrongly Shut Down 84,000 Websites, Claiming Child Pornography

February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The US Government has yet again shuttered several domain names this week. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE office proudly announced that they had seized domains related to counterfeit goods and child pornography. What they failed to mention, however, is that one of the targeted domains belongs to a free DNS provider, and that 84,000 websites were wrongfully accused of links to child pornography crimes.

As part of “Operation Save Our Children” ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center has again seized several domain names, but not without making a huge error. Last Friday, thousands of site owners were surprised by a rather worrying banner that was placed on their domain.

“Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution,” was the worrying message they read on their websites.

As with previous seizures, ICE convinced a District Court judge to sign a seizure warrant, and then contacted the domain registries to point the domains in question to a server that hosts the warning message. However, somewhere in this process a mistake was made and as a result the domain of a large DNS service provider was seized.

The domain in question is mooo.com, which belongs to the DNS provider FreeDNS. It is the most popular shared domain at afraid.org and as a result of the authorities’ actions a massive 84,000 subdomains were wrongfully seized as well. All sites were redirected to the banner below.
This banner was visible on the 84,000 sites

CP banner

The FreeDNS owner was taken by surprise and quickly released the following statement on their website. “Freedns.afraid.org has never allowed this type of abuse of its DNS service. We are working to get the issue sorted as quickly as possible.”

Eventually, on Sunday the domain seizure was reverted and the subdomains slowly started to point to the old sites again instead of the accusatory banner. However, since the DNS entries have to propagate, it took another 3 days before the images disappeared completely.

Most of the subdomains in question are personal sites and sites of small businesses. A search on Bing still shows how innocent sites were claimed to promote child pornography. A rather damaging accusation, which scared and upset many of the site’s owners.

One of the customers quickly went out to assure visitors that his site was not involved in any of the alleged crimes.

“You can rest assured that I have not and would never be found to be trafficking in such distasteful and horrific content. A little sleuthing shows that the whole of the mooo.com TLD is impacted. At first, the legitimacy of the alerts seems to be questionable — after all, what reputable agency would display their warning in a fancily formatted image referenced by the underlying HTML? I wouldn’t expect to see that.”

Even at the time of writing people can still replicate the effect by adding “74.81.170.110 mooo.com” to their hosts file as the authorities have not dropped the domain pointer yet. Adding mooo.com will produce a different image than picking a random domain (child porn vs. copyright), which confirms the mistake.

Although it is not clear where this massive error was made, and who’s responsible for it, the Department of Homeland security is conveniently sweeping it under the rug. In a press release that went out a few hours ago the authorities were clearly proud of themselves for taking down 10 domain names.

However, DHS conveniently failed to mention that 84,000 websites were wrongfully taken down in the process, shaming thousands of people in the process.

“Each year, far too many children fall prey to sexual predators and all too often, these heinous acts are recorded in photos and on video and released on the Internet,” Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano commented.

“DHS is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to shut down websites that promote child pornography to protect these children from further victimization,” she added.

A noble initiative, but one that went wrong, badly. The above failure again shows that the seizure process is a flawed one, as has been shown several times before in earlier copyright infringement sweeps. If the Government would only allow for due process to take place, this and other mistakes wouldn’t have been made.

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Appeals Court Overturns Sentence By Albany New York Federal Judge Gary L. Sharpe – Based Prison Term On “As-Of-Yet Undiscovered” Child Pornography Gene – Dumbass

January 30, 2011

ALBANY, NEW YORK – A federal appeals court in Manhattan overturned a six-and-a-half-year sentence in a child pornography case on Friday, saying the judge who imposed it improperly found that the defendant would return to viewing child pornography “because of an as-of-yet undiscovered gene.”

The judge, Gary L. Sharpe of Federal District Court in Albany, was quoted as saying, “It is a gene you were born with. And it’s not a gene you can get rid of,” before he sentenced the defendant, Gary Cossey, in December 2009.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said in ruling on the defendant’s appeal, “It would be impermissible for the court to base its decision of recidivism on its unsupported theory of genetics.”

Judges Amalya L. Kearse, John M. Walker Jr. and Rosemary S. Pooler ruled that a sentence relying on findings not supported in the record “seriously affects the fairness, integrity and public reputation of judicial proceedings.”

The panel ordered that Mr. Cossey be resentenced by a different judge, a step it said was taken only where a judge’s fairness or the appearance of fairness was in doubt. “This is one such instance,” the panel said.

Judge Sharpe, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, has been a district judge since 2004. His chambers declined to comment.

Mr. Cossey, who had pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, said at his sentencing that he felt therapy was “helping me tremendously in a lot of ways,” a transcript shows.

But the panel said that Judge Sharpe had rejected two psychological evaluations that found Mr. Cossey was “at a low to moderate risk to reoffend,” and that the judge told Mr. Cossey that the “opinions of the psychologists and the psychiatrists as to what harm you may pose to those children in the future is virtually worthless here.”

Prosecutors argued that Mr. Cossey might again violate the law because he was found to have continued viewing child pornography after an initial investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ruling said.

The panel quoted Judge Sharpe as telling the defendant, “I’m not sure there’s any answer for what I see here beyond what I’m about to tell ya,” and predicting that in 50 years, Mr. Cossey’s conduct is likely to be found to have been caused by a gene.

“You are what you’re born with. And that’s the only explanation for what I see here,” the judge said.

Mr. Cossey’s lawyer, George E. Baird Jr., declined to comment, as did William C. Pericak, a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Albany.

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Pentagon Wastes Billions Of Tax Dollars In Iraq, But Investigation Of Its Own Employees Child Pornography Downloads Fizzled Due To “Lack Of Resources”

September 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Defense will reopen its investigation into employees who are alleged to have downloaded child pornography after stopping the reviews because of a lack of resources, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service will review 264 cases, according to spokesman Gary Comerford.

Some of the cases may be referred to military criminal investigations, while cases where it appears a criminal investigation cannot be done will be sent to Defense Department leadership for consideration.

The incidents were part of Project Flicker, a nationwide child pornography sting conducted several years ago by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The Department of Defense released documents pertaining to the sting earlier this summer.

A Yahoo News investigation found that only a fifth of the cases had been followed up by the department after it was informed by federal investigators of employee involvement.

“I have tasked Defense Criminal Investigative Service representatives with reviewing each and every Project Flicker and related referral DCIS received so as to ensure action was taken regarding these allegations involving employees of the Department of Defense,” Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James Burch said in a statement released Wednesday.

Among the employees identified in a series of reports released by the department were some listed as having security clearances at the top secret level or higher. They worked for groups within the department such as the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office, two of the country’s top intelligence agencies.

Some of the employees are suspected of having used their work computers to view pornographic websites.

Some employees involved in the investigation have pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography, but other inquiries were dropped or are still open. One case against a Defense Department contractor who allegedly admitted to having viewed pornographic material of children was dropped “due to a lack of resources,” according to one of the reports from 2009.

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Former Top Maine Drug Prosecutor James M. Cameron Found Guilty Of 13 Counts Of Child Pornography

August 24, 2010

PORTLAND, MAINE – Three years ago, James M. Cameron held a position of power and trust as the top drug prosecutor for the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

His stunning fall from that post began in December 2007, when state and federal agents showed up at his Hallowell home with search warrants for the four computers inside.

The fall ended Monday, when a federal judge convicted Cameron on 13 of 15 counts of sending, receiving and possessing child pornography over the Internet.

Cameron, 48, showed no emotion as Judge John Woodcock Jr. read the verdicts that capped the six-day bench trial.

Cameron was handcuffed immediately and put into federal custody after the ruling. The former state prosecutor, who opted not to testify in his own defense, faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year.

The Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit began investigating Cameron in 2007, after Yahoo reported finding child pornography in the photos of an account holder later identified as Cameron’s wife. The Yahoo reports were made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., an organization that works with local, state and federal investigators.

Investigators ultimately tied 17 user profiles on Yahoo — many of which had sexually explicit names — to three Internet Protocol addresses assigned to computers at the Cameron household. Prosecutors used data from the computers, including log-in names and times, to determine that it was Cameron alone who was responsible for the illegal activity. Besides images of child pornography uploaded to Yahoo file servers, investigators found explicit images, e-mails, chats and other evidence on the four computers seized from Cameron’s home.

Cameron engaged in some of the illegal activity from his home computers on days when he was working, prosecutors said. His former secretary testified that Cameron was often away from his office, and those unexplained absences prompted a running joke at the Attorney General’s Office, in which someone would ask: “Where in the world is Jim Cameron?”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Clark referred to that joke several times during his closing argument Monday.

“Where in the world is Jim Cameron? We know the answer. He was at home, on his computer, trading child pornography,” Clark said.

Clark said Cameron had advanced computer knowledge, and he stored pornographic materials in photo folders on Yahoo, so that he could then delete the files from his home computers using a software program called Wash n’ Go. However, Cameron was apparently unaware that traces of the child pornography, including images and chats on the now-defunct service Google Hello, remained on the hard drives of the computers and were found by investigators, Clark said.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Michael A. Cunniff said the government failed to prove that it was Cameron who sent, received or possessed any illegal photographs or videos. Cunniff said if Cameron inadvertently received illegal images, he deleted them because he was not looking for child pornography. Erotic chat and fantasies are not crimes and are protected by the right to free speech, Cunniff said.

“If a person wants to collect child pornography, they save it. They don’t destroy it,” Cunniff said.

Cunniff also said the investigation of Cameron was flawed from the start because agents believed him to be guilty and they did not pursue any other possibilities, such as the theory that someone had pirated the open wireless signal at Cameron’s home. Cunniff noted that one state police detective used the term “stringing evidence around Jim Cameron’s neck.”

“No meaningful search for exculpatory evidence was made,” Cunniff told Woodcock.

A federal grand jury indicted Cameron in February 2009. He waived his right to a jury, putting his fate solely in the hands of Woodcock, the chief federal judge for the District of Maine.

Much of the testimony during the trial was slow going, as government lawyers and Cunniff argued about rules, procedural matters and the admissibility of almost every piece of evidence.

“The persistence and vigor that I displayed were manifestations of my respect for the law, not disrespect for the court,” Cunniff told Woodcock at the outset of his closing argument. Cunniff lodged repeated objections based on his argument that Yahoo does not have the right to browse through images posted by users in password-protected folders. Woodcock said the images qualify as business records and Yahoo has the right to inspect them.

Cameron is now divorced from his wife, but they have been working together to raise their 15-year-old autistic son, Cunniff said. Cameron had been free on $75,000 bail before Monday’s verdicts.

Woodcock found Cameron guilty on eight counts of sending, four counts of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography. The judge found Cameron not guilty on two counts of sending child pornography.

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New York City Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein Has A Problem With Obeying The Law And Sending Child Pornography Collector To Prison For 5 Years

June 20, 2010

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – In his 43-year career as a federal judge, Jack B. Weinstein has come to be identified by his efforts to combat what he calls “the unnecessary cruelty of the law.” His most recent crusade is particularly striking because of the beneficiary: a man who has amassed a vast collection of child pornography.

Judge Weinstein, who sits in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, has twice thrown out convictions that would have ensured that the man spend at least five years behind bars. He has pledged to break protocol and inform the next jury about the mandatory prison sentence that the charges carry. And he recently declared that the man, who is awaiting a new trial, did not need an electronic ankle bracelet because he posed “no risk to society.”

There is little public sympathy for collectors of child pornography. Yet across the country, an increasing number of federal judges have come to their defense, criticizing changes to sentencing laws that have effectively quadrupled their average prison term over the last decade.

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated a 20-year child pornography sentence by ruling that the sentencing guidelines for such cases, “unless applied with great care, can lead to unreasonable sentences.” The decision noted that the recommended sentences for looking at pictures of children being sexually abused sometimes eclipse those for actually sexually abusing a child.

Judge Weinstein has gone to extraordinary lengths to challenge the strict punishments, issuing a series of rulings that directly attack the mandatory five-year prison sentence faced by defendants charged with receiving child pornography.

“I don’t approve of child pornography, obviously,” he said in an interview this week. But, he also said, he does not believe that those who view the images, as opposed to producing or selling them, present a threat to children.

“We’re destroying lives unnecessarily,” he said. “At the most, they should be receiving treatment and supervision.”

The man he has spent three years trying to save from a long incarceration is Pietro Polizzi, a married father of five who collected more than 5,000 graphic pictures of children. If prosecuted in a New York State court, he would have faced a maximum prison sentence of four years. Instead, in federal court, he faced a minimum of five years and a recommended sentence of 11 to 14 years. Because of Judge Weinstein’s intervention, he remains free as he awaits another trial.

“I don’t see Judge Weinstein as a judge,” Mr. Polizzi said during an interview as tears rolled down his face. “I see him as my father. He helps people. He doesn’t destroy lives the way the prosecutor has. He’s the one who is going to set me free from the court.”

The child pornography industry has flourished through the Internet; the number of federal cases grew from fewer than 100 annually to more than 1,600 last year. As the number grew, Congress increased the recommended prison terms and established a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for anyone convicted of receiving child pornography. According to the federal defenders’ office, the average sentence was 91 months in 2007, up from 21 months a decade before.

But the tough penalties have chafed at many judges, echoing previous battles over drug cases. Last year, judges imposed sentences below the recommended range in more than half of all child pornography cases.

“What has caused concern in courts across the nation is that we have a lot of relatively law-abiding individuals sitting in the basement downloading the wrong kind of dirty pictures facing not just prison sentences but incredibly long prison sentences,” said Douglas A. Berman, a professor at Moritz College of Law of Ohio State University, who studies sentencing issues.

In one recent case, James L. Graham, a United States District Court judge in Ohio, sentenced a 67-year-old man who had suffered a stroke to a single day in prison, along with restrictions on computer use and registration as a sex offender. As part of a deal with prosecutors, the man had pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, which carries no mandatory sentence.

“When you have to sit there on the bench and look at someone like my stroke victim and say, ‘I have to send this man to prison for six years,’ it just doesn’t feel right,” he explained in an interview. “It’s not right.”

Child advocates like Ernie Allen, the president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, are upset by such thinking. “Real children are harmed in the production of these images,” he said, “and these same children are harmed every time these images are downloaded and viewed.”

At 88, Judge Weinstein is one of the longest serving members of the federal bench. Supporters praise his taking unusual actions in pursuit of his notions of justice, like for a time refusing to handle drug cases out of opposition to mandatory minimums. Critics say that in the process, he disregards the law.

(On Thursday, he made headlines by refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by a public school teacher removed from the classroom for allowing students to use vulgarities during a lesson on H.I.V. He ruled that she appeared to have followed the spirit of a state syllabus that directed that students be encouraged to use sexual terms they understood.)

“Jack is somebody who will step out and do what he thinks is right and take his chances of being overturned by an appeals court,” said John S. Martin, who cited his disagreement with mandatory sentences when he retired from the federal bench in Manhattan. “He sees the injustice in these things, and he tries to do something about it.”

Both sides point to his efforts in the Polizzi case as quintessential Weinstein.

In 2005, Mr. Polizzi signed up for a child pornography Web site. He began obsessively stockpiling thousands of images, mostly of prepubescent girls. When F.B.I. agents arrived with a search warrant, he led them to the two-story garage where he kept his collection behind locked doors, saying, “The pictures of the children are upstairs.”

Child pornography cases almost always end with guilty pleas. But when the case was assigned to Judge Weinstein, Mr. Polizzi’s lawyer recommended that he go to trial. The lawyer used an insanity defense, claiming Mr. Polizzi had been repeatedly raped as a child and had collected the pictures not for sexual gratification, but in hopes of finding evidence of his own abuse — claims the prosecution dismissed as implausible. When the first of the images were shown in court, Mr. Polizzi collapsed and was taken to a hospital.

The jury was given the standard instruction not to consider possible punishment during deliberations. After three days, on Oct. 5, 2007, Mr. Polizzi was convicted of all 12 counts of receipt of child pornography and 11 counts of possession. Then Judge Weinstein broke from the script with a question almost never posed in court: If the jurors had known about the minimum prison sentence, would they have voted to convict?

Five jurors spoke up against imprisonment. Two said they would have changed their votes. Judge Weinstein tossed out the guilty verdict on the more serious receipt counts and ordered a new trial. He sentenced Mr. Polizzi to a year in prison for the possession counts, which Mr. Polizzi has served.

Judge Weinstein declared that Mr. Polizzi had a constitutional right to have a jury know the punishment that would accompany a guilty verdict, a right he said he had violated. He pledged to inform the next jury of the mandatory minimum sentence. That idea, floated by a federal judge in Manhattan several years earlier in another child pornography case but rejected on appeal, would give jurors the option of refusing to convict if the punishment seemed disproportionate, as several jurors had indicated they believed it was in Mr. Polizzi’s case.

“That was quite an unusual way of handling it,” said Amy Baron-Evans, the national sentencing resource counsel for the federal public defenders’ office. “Usually the judges are just stuck with the mandatory minimum.”

The Court of Appeals last year overruled Judge Weinstein’s order of a new trial, but left unresolved whether it was permissible to tell the jury about the punishment. The case was remanded, and Judge Weinstein, after consulting with other District Court judges, again ordered a new trial, though this time on different grounds. And again he pledged to inform the jury of the mandatory minimum sentences. That decision is under appeal.

In the meantime, the cases keep coming.

On Wednesday, Judge Weinstein dealt with a man who had pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography. He imposed the mandatory five-year minimum prison term, though unhappily.

“This is an unnecessarily harsh and cruel sentence under the circumstances,” he said. “The court has no alternative under the statute. This defendant requires treatment and a stable life outside of prison. Prison will only harm him and will do nothing to protect society, since he does not constitute a risk of crime or any acting out towards children.”

“I’m sorry,” he added, “there is nothing I can do in this case.”

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Ocean Springs Mississippi Police Officer Lt. Steven Futral Arrested, Suspended, Charged With Child Pornography For Images On His Home Computer – Faces Additional Charges After Child Pornography Was Found On His Department Laptop

June 10, 2010

OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI – Ocean Springs Police Lt. Steven Futral has been arrested again today, this time charged with three additional counts of possession of child pornography.

The additional charges stem from images found on his police laptop, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd.

Futral was initially arrested Monday night on one count of possession of child pornography stemming from images found on his home computer.

He has been suspended without pay from the Ocean Springs Police Department.

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Indian River County Florida Deputy Sheriff Stephen Guy Thomas Jr. Arrested, Charged After Child Pornography Was Found On Laptop In His Patrol Car

December 18, 2008

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA — An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been charged with possession of child pornography after several videos were found on his personal laptop computer by detectives.

Stephen Guy Thomas Jr., 26, was charged late Tuesday night with the crime, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Jeff Luther said.

Detectives seized the laptop from Thomas’ patrol car. The initial forensic search of the computer showed 14 video clips of children as young as 5 years old in a variety of sexual acts, including intercourse and bondage, the report said. Detectives searched his patrol car for the laptop after they could not find it in his home, Luther said.

Luther said detectives who routinely investigate child pornography came across a computer screen name that led to Thomas, who has been a road patrol deputy for the past few years. Thomas would not have been involved in conducting child porn investigations by the Sheriff’s Office, Luther said.

Thomas has been suspended without pay pending the Sheriff’s Office investigation, Luther said. He was being held at the Indian River County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. Thomas was being housed in the general population of the jail with no special accommodations, Luther said.

Thomas joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2005 following more than four years with the Army, where he served in special operations and had a few missions in Iraq, according to his personnel file. When he applied to become a deputy, he received recommendations from his superiors in the Army, as well as from his local church.

His disciplinary record showed only a handful of investigations, with one written reprimand for failing to show up for court in December 2006.

Thomas recently had been staying in a security house at Rosewood Magnet School, said Patty Vasquez, spokeswoman for the Indian River County School District.

School officials said they were not aware until Wednesday he had moved into the house.

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Indian River County Florida Deputy Sheriff Stephen Guy Thomas Jr. Arrested, Charged After Child Pornography Was Found On Laptop In His Patrol Car

December 18, 2008

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FLORIDA — An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been charged with possession of child pornography after several videos were found on his personal laptop computer by detectives.

Stephen Guy Thomas Jr., 26, was charged late Tuesday night with the crime, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Jeff Luther said.

Detectives seized the laptop from Thomas’ patrol car. The initial forensic search of the computer showed 14 video clips of children as young as 5 years old in a variety of sexual acts, including intercourse and bondage, the report said. Detectives searched his patrol car for the laptop after they could not find it in his home, Luther said.

Luther said detectives who routinely investigate child pornography came across a computer screen name that led to Thomas, who has been a road patrol deputy for the past few years. Thomas would not have been involved in conducting child porn investigations by the Sheriff’s Office, Luther said.

Thomas has been suspended without pay pending the Sheriff’s Office investigation, Luther said. He was being held at the Indian River County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. Thomas was being housed in the general population of the jail with no special accommodations, Luther said.

Thomas joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2005 following more than four years with the Army, where he served in special operations and had a few missions in Iraq, according to his personnel file. When he applied to become a deputy, he received recommendations from his superiors in the Army, as well as from his local church.

His disciplinary record showed only a handful of investigations, with one written reprimand for failing to show up for court in December 2006.

Thomas recently had been staying in a security house at Rosewood Magnet School, said Patty Vasquez, spokeswoman for the Indian River County School District.

School officials said they were not aware until Wednesday he had moved into the house.

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St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Jumps Out Of Patrol Car, Does The Right Thing And Kills Himself Amid Investigation Into Child Pornography

December 12, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — A St. Louis police officer who was under investigation in a child pornography case jumped out of a police car, ran away, and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer’s name was not released. He was 37 and had been with the department for 2 1/2 years, city police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said.

St. Louis County police went to the officer’s home in south St. Louis County on Tuesday.

“We had received an IP address belonging to a computer at that residence associated with child pornography, either the possession or transfer of it,” Panus said. “We went there to serve the search warrant.”

The officer wasn’t home but provided a key when investigators tracked him down. Panus said the computer and personal papers were seized, but the officer was not arrested.

Later Tuesday, members of the city police Internal Affairs division picked up the officer and were driving him to police headquarters. Van Ross said he was being taken in for two reasons: To await results of the county search of his computer and papers, and for questioning about why he apparently lived in the county when city officers are required to live in the city.

Suddenly, just blocks from police headquarters, the officer jumped out of the car and ran, Van Ross said. Police searched but couldn’t find him.

Hours later, a resident called 911 after finding the officer, reportedly behind a church. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Van Ross said. Police transported the officer to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he died.

Van Ross said the officer was not technically in custody so he was not handcuffed or restrained in the police car. Police Chief Dan Isom has ordered a review of protocol to see if changes should be made in the method of transporting people to the Internal Affairs Division.

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St. Louis Missouri Police Officer Jumps Out Of Patrol Car, Does The Right Thing And Kills Himself Amid Investigation Into Child Pornography

December 11, 2008

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — A St. Louis police officer who was under investigation in a child pornography case jumped out of a police car, ran away, and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The officer’s name was not released. He was 37 and had been with the department for 2 1/2 years, city police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said.

St. Louis County police went to the officer’s home in south St. Louis County on Tuesday.

“We had received an IP address belonging to a computer at that residence associated with child pornography, either the possession or transfer of it,” Panus said. “We went there to serve the search warrant.”

The officer wasn’t home but provided a key when investigators tracked him down. Panus said the computer and personal papers were seized, but the officer was not arrested.

Later Tuesday, members of the city police Internal Affairs division picked up the officer and were driving him to police headquarters. Van Ross said he was being taken in for two reasons: To await results of the county search of his computer and papers, and for questioning about why he apparently lived in the county when city officers are required to live in the city.

Suddenly, just blocks from police headquarters, the officer jumped out of the car and ran, Van Ross said. Police searched but couldn’t find him.

Hours later, a resident called 911 after finding the officer, reportedly behind a church. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Van Ross said. Police transported the officer to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he died.

Van Ross said the officer was not technically in custody so he was not handcuffed or restrained in the police car. Police Chief Dan Isom has ordered a review of protocol to see if changes should be made in the method of transporting people to the Internal Affairs Division.

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