A Central Florida church choir director is among nine men arrested by Polk County deputies during an operation this week, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Reports also indicate that the man allegedly knew a child was being sexually abused but did not report the crime to authorities.
“Operation Guardian Angel” was a two-day investigation targeting people who distribute child pornography. A total of seven people were arrested on charges of possessing child pornography, including a suspect who lived outside Florida.
The Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation led them to two men who were sexually battering children.
Among those arrested was a registered nurse from Lakeland, who allegedly told detectives he has been viewing child pornography for several years, and an Auburndale man. Detectives claim that the registered nurse admitted to having sex with two boys. The Auburndale man is accused of sexually abusing boys with the nurse.
Detectives also alleged that the nurse’s roommate and partner, an organist and choir director at a church in Lakeland, was aware of the sexual abuse and child pornography. Detectives claim the man told them he knew he should have reported the abuse but was giving his partner “one more chance to never do that again.”
The church choir director was arrested on a felony count of failing to report child abuse. Records indicate that he has a prior arrest in California for lewd and lascivious abuse on a child.
Being arrested for distributing child pornography, or any other related crime, can be an overwhelming experience that no one ever expects to endure. Many of those arrested in undercover stings, such as this one, are honest, hardworking individuals with a good reputation and families. Unfortunately, accusations involving child porn can take all that way, even if they are exaggerated or false.
Internet sex crimes, particularly possession or distribution of child pornography, usually involve highly complex issues. There are various factors that are crucial to building your defense strategy, including when the alleged files were accessed, what the alleged files contain, how the files were obtained and whether or not other people have access to your computer. It is possible that you were arrested and were completely unaware such files were even on your computer. That is why experts are needed to thoroughly review computer files and any other evidence that the prosecution intends to use against you.
Being charged with possession or distribution of child porn can be a frightening situation. However, hiring a sex crimes defense lawyer at the earliest stage of your case can help mitigate the collateral consequences of your arrest. A Florida Child Pornography Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can make sure your constitutional rights are protected throughout every stage of your case. For a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you fight child porn charges stemming from an undercover Internet sting, please call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.
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