Kevin J. Kearney of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested Thursday after police found child pornography on his home computer, news sources report. He was also allegedly sharing the illicit pornography over the internet. Kearney, 58, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on multiple charges relating to the possession of child pornography, as well on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail. It is also not yet known whether Kearney has obtained a defense attorney to represent his case.
According to reports, detectives with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department found a Broward County Internet Protocol address sharing child pornographic material online. IP addresses are numbers that are unique to everyone’s personal internet connection. They allow detectives to track computers down to specific addresses, though police must first obtain a search warrant to harvest material in this way.
Detectives obtained such a search warrant and reportedly tracked the IP address to Kearney’s home in the 1900 block of Southwest Fourth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The detectives conducted a search of Kearney’s apartment on Thursday and found over 20 videos depicting children in sexual situations, reports say. Detectives also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the home, sources say.
Police say the videos found on Kearney’s computer depicted children as young as nine in sexual situations. The detectives sent the pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in hopes that the agency will identify the victims. It is unclear whether Kearney produced any of the alleged pornography himself. Detectives are asking anyone with additional information to call the Broward County Crime Stoppers hotline.
In related news, detectives in Weston, Florida say they have discovered as many as 16 photos depicting underage area high school girls in sexual situations on a pornography website. The images were originally found by a student who reported the pictures to a school official. Police are currently conducting an investigation; it is unclear whether any individuals have been charged for the alleged pornography.
According to reports, the investigation began when a South Florida high school student discovered images depicting fellow classmates in sexual situations on a pornographic website. Reports did not provide the name of that website. The students on the website were under the age of 18 and appeared to have taken the photos themselves. The images included naked pictures and pictures of girls performing sex acts. In all, detectives found 16 images depicting six different girls.
The student who found the images reported them to a school official. Someone also reported the illicit pornography to the cybertipline.com. One student from Cypress Bay High School said a few of the girls appeared to be her classmates. “It’s everywhere,” on student said, commenting on the images. “[One] girl was posting on Twitter how she was upset and everything.” Detectives are still investigating the images and no charges have yet been filed. It is not clear how the site acquired the images.