Polk child porn investigation nets nine arrests - FOX 13 News

Polk child porn investigation nets nine arrests

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BARTOW (FOX 13) - Polk detectives have arrested nine people as part of crackdown on child pornography.

Two of the suspects were arrested and charged with sexually battering children.

The arrests came during a two-day undercover operation that targeted people who were distributing child porn, the sheriff’s office said.

Seven others were arrested for possessing child porn.

Keith Crump, 45, is a registered nurse for the Florida Department of Health who detectives say admitted to having sex with two juvenile boys under 16 years old. They say Tavis Bell, 40, also admitted to having sex with the boys along with Crump.

Crump’s partner and roommate, 54-year-old Timothy Peargin, was arrested and charged with failing to report child abuse. According to the sheriff’s office, Peargin suspected there was child abuse going on, but did not report it.

One suspect is a church choir director

Church members in Lakeland are in shock as their choir director faces charges as part of a big child porn investigation.

His boyfriend is being charged with abusing children, and the choir director allegedly admitted to police he knew about what was happening, but did nothing to stop it.

St. David's Episcopal Church choir director, Tim Peargin, told police he was giving his boyfriend, Keith Crump, one more chance or he would turn him in.

But detectives got there first.

Crump was arrested on Tuesday and is alleged to have been caught with child porn, and admitting to raping two boys.

"That's the worst crime there is," said one St. David's parishioner, who did not want to be named.

For ten months, Peargin has led the choir at St. David's church.

"What's hurtful is that someone would know about it and not do anything, and come to church like everything's good," said the parishioner.

It's all part of a larger roundup of nine kiddie porn suspects in Polk County.

The sheriff showed the mugshots and more video during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

"We are going to lock you up and do our best to throw away the key because you are not fit to live among the rest of us," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

"Shocking and terrifying"

St. David's Reverend Robert Moses said he will be addressing the arrest of Crump and Peargin in an upcoming sermon.

"It's all shocking and terrifying," said Moses.

Though he passed a background check to be a part-time employee at the church, the sheriff says Peargin has been accused of illicit conduct with a minor many years ago.

"That man Tim had been in my apartment several times just as a neighbor, just a little chat, like he was interested in what was going on in the neighborhood," said neighbor Andra Vick.

Detectives say in total, on all the computers they have looked through so far, they have found pictures and videos of two hundred children.

They are hoping to find and rescue some of those victims.



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