Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Brooksville man charged with transmitting child pornography

BROOKSVILLE — A 26-year-old Brooksville man sent multiple images of child pornography through different online messaging platforms, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

On May 12, authorities say, Michael Edward Thomas sent an image of two children between the ages of 1 and 10 through an account on Kik Messenger to a Polk County resident. The incident was reported to the local Sheriff's Office, which obtained a subpoena for the chat information and IP address. They traced it back to a residence at 12029 Timber Lane. Deputies say Thomas' image was included in the chat conversation.

On June 8, Hernando authorities say, Thomas also sent four images of child pornography to an ex-girlfriend via Facebook.

On Wednesday, deputies found Thomas in the Da-Mac subdivision in Brooksville. He told deputies he had used Kik, but did not remember sending anyone images of child pornography. He said he may have "blacked out" and forwarded images of pornography sent to him, according to the Sheriff's Office. Thomas said he didn't remember sending any child pornography over Facebook to his ex-girlfriend. He also denied ever having been involved in taking such images, according to the Sheriff's Office.

He was arrested and faces five counts of transmission of pornography by an electronic device. He was being held Thursday at the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of $10,500 bail.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

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