Crime

Florida police sergeant found guilty of downloading child porn on his work computer

A jury found a found a former Live Oak police sergeant guilty of producing and possessing child pornography on his work computer, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.

Kyle A. Kirby, 37, of Live Oak, was a sergeant with the Live Oak Police Department when he was under investigation. On Oct. 22, 2015, investigators searched his home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The chief of police also gave investigators permission to search the computer inside Kirby’s patrol vehicle.

On the computer, officials found images of young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Kirby used the patrol car computer from as early as Dec. 24, 2014, to download, access and possess child porn.

On Kirby’s police desktop computer, investigators found images of children naked or partially undressed after using a concealed camera to film unsuspecting children, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The images had been transferred from the camera to the police desktop and Kirby later tried to delete them. Agents, according to the release, found folders named for some of his victims.

Kirby was arrested on Oct. 28, 2015, and has remained in custody, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“I have been in law enforcement for 30 years, and this has been the most difficult situation I have faced. A trusted friend, officer and protector of the public betrayed all facets of the job he swore to do. I realize that mistakes happen, but this was no mistake it was a choice, a choice that has impacted not only his agency, but his trusted friends, family, and community to include all brothers and sisters of the badge. I am appreciative of the F.B.I, the U.S Attorney’s Office and all others involved. Justice did prevail,” Live Oak Police Department Chief Alton “Buddy” Williams said in a news release.

Kirby now faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison, but he could be sentenced to up to 120 years. He also faces a a potential life term of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with the full cooperation of the Live Oak Police Department as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Sara Nealeigh: 941-745-7081, @saranealeigh

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