Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater drug arrest leads to additional charges for child pornography

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man accused last week of selling crack cocaine now faces additional charges that he created child pornography depicting himself and a 12-year-old girl, police said.

Jermaine Bennett, 40, has been charged with three counts of production of child pornography and three counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim under the age of 16, according to Clearwater police.

He has already been charged with 13 drug-related offenses, including possession and sale of crack cocaine, plus a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of gun ammunition. He was in custody at the Pinellas County jail on Thursday.

Bennett was arrested following an investigation by Clearwater narcotics detectives. On April 25, a search of his house at 221 N Saturn Ave. and another search of an associate's house at 502 N Mars Ave. turned up drugs including methamphetamine, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, fentanyl patches, liquid lidocaine and Xanax pills, according to police.

Bennett's associate, Desmond Rodriguez, 44, was arrested on one count of possessing and one count of selling heroin.

An analysis of a stolen computer recovered at 221 N Saturn Ave. revealed the images of child pornography, police said. According to arrest reports filed at the county jail, Bennett recorded the activity on a "surveillance system."

Detectives tracked down the 12-year-old girl in the images, who "confirmed that Bennett coerced her into having sexual intercourse and recorded the encounters," according to Clearwater police.

Arrest reports further state that Bennett "coerced the child victim by offering money for the victim's cooperation."

Peter Jamison can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater drug arrest leads to additional charges for child pornography 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17


    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida


     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  4. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion


    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  5. What you need to know for Friday, Oct. 20


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    At last year's Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her "Ofrenda," or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
 [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times (2016)]