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Former Florida Gators sideline reporter arraigned on child pornography charges

GAINESVILLE — Steve Babik, a University of Florida broadcaster for more than two decades most known for his sideline reporting at Gator football games for the Florida Radio Network, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on Tuesday on child pornography charges.

Babik, 50, was charged with one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He was released on $100,000 bond. His trial was set for March 1.

According to court documents obtained by the St. Petersburg Times, Babik on or about Nov. 2 received and distributed "visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct" involving minors that were "shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer." He faces a second count on similar charges on or about Nov. 30.

Babik, who is married, faces a mandatory five to 20 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for Count 1. He also faces up to 10 years in prison on the second count.

UF athletic officials released the following statement: "We were made aware of the investigation in late November and immediately suspended Steve Babik from his work responsibilities. Now that he has been charged, his employment has been terminated. We are deeply disturbed by the charges."

PIERRE-LOUIS CASE: The girlfriend of former UF cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis appeared in an Alachua County courtroom and asked a judge that he be released, saying she does not feel threatened by him and that police accounts surrounding the incident in which he is facing five charges, including domestic battery, are inaccurate.

Alachua County Judge Walter Green listened to Starlett Lazenberry tell a much different story than police reports, then reduced Pierre-Louis' bond from $185,000 to $40,000. He has no prior criminal history.

Lazenberry said Pierre-Louis, 22, never threatened to kill her. The two have been dating for more than three years, she said.

"I do not fear for my life or anything like that,'' Lazenberry said.

Pierre-Louis, who just completed his senior season, turned himself in to Alachua County authorities on a warrant charging him with burglary, kidnapping and domestic battery.

BAD DRIVING: Lane Kiffin damaged the car loaned to him while he was Tennessee's coach when he ran it off the road in the fall. Lexus of Knoxville said in a statement that the Lexus was towed to the dealership and Kiffin's insurance paid the claim on the car. No incident report was filed.

STAFF COMPLETE: Louisville coach Charlie Strong hired former Virginia assistant Mike Groh to coach quarterbacks and former Georgia Southern assistant Ron Dugans, an FSU product, to coach receivers.

NO INTEREST: Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill, a quarterback at FSU in the mid '70s, announced he has withdrawn his name from East Carolina's coaching search.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Former Florida Gators sideline reporter arraigned on child pornography charges 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:52pm]
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