In Florida, a special needs specialist has been arrested and charged with more than 400 child pornography counts.
In a news conference, Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said that 46-year-old Shawn Fitzgerald was arrested on Friday and charged with 408 counts of child pornography possession.
According to Judd, an investigation began when the sheriff's office received a request from Electronic Service Providers from the National Center for Missing and Abused Children (NCMEC), a private non-profit agency that provides law enforcement intelligence.
The article revealed that on February 20, a KIK chat app was used to post a video showing child pornography.
The sheriff's office said the 20-second video depicted an adult man making a young girl practicing oral sex.
On Thursday, detectives from the PCSO Computer Crimes Unit served a search warrant at Fitzgerald’s house. While detectives were searching his cell phone, they found a “Calculator Vault” app, which is an application that is designed to look like a calculator but has the capability to hide saved images. Fitzgerald told a detective that he used the app to store images from an extramarital affair, deputies said.
According to the sheriff’s office, a forensic exam of the cell phone revealed 408 files depicting child pornography. The images showed both male and female children being sexually battered by adults and/or engaging in sexual acts with other children, with some of the victims appearing to be as young as 10-12 months old, Judd said.
The investigation is ongoing. Deputies say additional searches of Fitzgerald’s cell phone and other electronic data storage devices will be performed, and additional charges are possible.
The sheriff’s office said, at this time, there is no evidence that indicates the files were made locally.