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Florida special needs teacher faces 408 child porn charges

A Florida significant faculty trainer, soccer mentor and church youth leader is dealing with 408 counts of kid pornography possession, according to authorities.

Shawn Fitzgerald, 46, was allegedly busted with hundreds of unlawful pictures of young children associated in sexual activity on his cellphone, Polk County Sheriff Grey Judd explained Saturday.

The photographs demonstrate infants as younger as 10 months outdated and youngsters staying sexually abused by grown ups and partaking in acts with other youngsters, law enforcement say.

It does not appear that Fitzgerald made the illustrations or photos or harmed any little ones personally, Judd reported, but officers say he is likely to facial area additional rates.

Police arrested Fitzgerald Friday after currently being tipped off by the National Centre on Lacking and Exploited Young children.

Fitzgerald teaches special desires learners at Lakeland Large Faculty exterior of Tampa, and has coached the boy’s soccer staff there since 2014. He is also the youth director at Very first United Methodist Church in Bartow.

“We are stunned and disgusted by these costs. As educators, we are entrusted with the well-being of our younger individuals just about every working day. It is our sacred responsibility to established the highest moral instance in our universities and our communities,” mentioned Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd in a assertion to regional television station WFLA.

“We are cooperating thoroughly with the investigation to ensure justice is served, and we are in the method of terminating this staff.”

Fitzgerald’s church explained, “We are saddened to discover of the arrest of Shawn Fitzgerald, youth director at Very first UMC, Bartow. Upon notification of his arrest, he was put on unpaid administrative go away. We have no expertise of any inappropriate perform by Mr. Fitzgerald with any individual associated with To start with UMC.

“We have a rigid Child and Youth Defense Policy that we continue on to enforce. It is our comprehension that the police investigation is on-likely. Our prayers are will with all concerned in this predicament.”

Fitzgerald is remaining held in the Polk County Jail on $2 million bail.

With Post Wires

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