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Ex-DCF spokesman could face more child porn charges

TAMPA — Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they have identified at least four additional victims of a former Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman jailed on child pornography charges.

Al Zimmerman, 40, formerly of Tallahassee and Lakeland, could face more charges in a new indictment this week, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Zimmerman was arrested in February and charged in a federal complaint with sexual exploitation of children. Authorities accused him of taking nude photographs of at least two minor, teenage boys, one of whom has been identified as a foster child in DCF care. Zimmerman remains in federal custody without bail.

Prosecutors say they now have identified six to seven victims.

DCF spokeswoman Erin Geraghty said state officials have been cooperating with the federal investigation and will work with authorities to identify whether any of the new victims were foster children in the agency's care.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Murphy-Davis told a judge Wednesday that a new indictment could be handed up this week, additionally charging Zimmerman with possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

Authorities accused Zimmerman of paying two teenage boys, ages 16 and 17, to allow him to photograph them while posing nude. Investigators believe Zimmerman was making the photos available to others online.

The DCF fired Zimmerman the day of his arrest.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

Ex-DCF spokesman could face more child porn charges 10/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:50pm]
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