TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Crime & Courts

Two Polk County men face child porn charges


Published:

Two Polk County men were accused by sheriff’s deputies of having child pornography on their computers after search warrants executed at their homes.

Victor Thomas Signs Jr., 52, of Lakeland, and Christopher Bearden, 36, Mulberry, were taken in custody Thursday.

Detectives searched Signs’ residence, 141 Fernery Road, Apt. D7, after developing information that someone at the home offered to share child pornography online, deputies said.

An on-site review was conducted of Signs’ computer, and one video file was located involving a nude girl, age 4 or 5, displayed in a lewd manner, the sheriff’s office said. Also located were multiple images of child erotica and animated child pornography, detectives said. A full examination will be completed on the computer to determine whether other files contain child pornography.

Signs faces one count of possession of child pornography, pending further investigation.

He denied downloading child pornography and requested an attorney, the sheriff’s office said.

An on-site review of Bearden’s computer yielded 40 video files depicting sexual conduct by a child between the age of 5 and 13.

Bearden, of 2446 Riverwood Drive, told detectives that he “unintentionally downloaded” child pornography. He also said he did not believe the children were being “hurt” in the videos, detectives said.

Bearden faces three counts of possession of child pornography with intent to promote and 40 counts of possession of child pornography. Other charges include possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

“These are two more suspects who have not heeded our warning,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release. “If you are a part of the child pornography pipeline that has contributed to the victimization and traumatization of thousands of children around the world, we will catch you, and you will go to jail. We have no tolerance for child pornographers in Polk County, period.”

Signs and Bearden were taken to the Polk County Jail.

Comments