Child pornography investigation tags county office, staff member

091213Floyd County CourthouseThe Virginia State Police investigation into child pornography in Floyd County reached into the courthouse this week with disclosures that evidence of the obscene material involving young people was found on an office computer in the Voter Registrar and Elections Board office and a computer and other materials of a staff member was seized at his home.

The county official involved in the probe admitted to Virginia State Police special agent Michael Bowman that he did look at pornography on the office computer but denied it was child pornography.  Bowman, however, said in his application for a search warrant for the official’s home that detection software he used on the computer found evidence of child porn on it.  Bowman also seized a Toshiba laptop and thumb drives at the official’s house.

The official also told Bowman he used the office computer to his online searches that involved pornography because he did not have Internet access at home.

Details of this story are found in my story in today’s Floyd Press and on the paper’s web site.  We did not name the staff member because no charges have been filed against him at this point but at least one Roanoke television station has identified him.

As a general rule, I don’t identify someone involved in a police investigation until formal charges are filed.  For example, I knew about the child pornography probe involving former Farm Credit manager Greg Clabaugh and his adult son for more than a year but did not name them in a story until grand jury indictments were handed down last week.  When both come to trial, I will report that trial and the outcome in the paper and here.

The investigation into the existence of child pornography in Floyd Count is continuing and is being conducted not only by the State Police, but also the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Floyd County Sheriff Shannon Zeman also now has a computer system that can track online abuses of children and he has hired a special deputy to handle such investigations.

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