Cary Aaronson of Margate, Florida was arrested Thursday after police discovered a collection of 500 child pornographic images and videos in his possession, news sources report. Aaronson was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on one count of compiling child pornography and thirty counts of possession of child pornography. A judge ordered that he be held on $301,000 bail. It is not yet clear whether Aaronson has hired an attorney.
According to reports, the South Florida Internet Crimes against Children Task Force had been investigating Aaronson for some time leading to the arrest. "It takes a few months to put these cases together, to watch these predators move the files back and forth through public software systems," a spokesperson with ICAC said.
On Thursday, agents with the task force obtained a search warrant for Aaronson's home on Southwest 50th Terrace. Detectives removed computers, DVDs, digital cameras, and cell phones from Aaronson's home. Detectives scanned the seized item and found around 500 files, all images and videos, which depicted various children engaged in sexual acts with other children and adults. Sources say many of the children were girls around 8 years of age.
Police spoke with Aaronson and he admitted to downloading and compiling the illegal pornography. Aaronson said downloading the illicit porn had turned into an addiction that he tried to stop on several occasions; however, his desires would always get the best of him, Aaronson reportedly said.
Police say that while Aaronson is not directly responsible for the creation of child pornography, his downloading habits encourage the spreading of such files over the Internet. The more interest there is in the illegal content, the higher the demand for individuals to create and share/sell more of the content becomes. A spokesperson for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children commented on the child porn epidemic, saying, "So many of [the child victims] need to get out... we need to help them get out of that life so they can live a normal life."
In other child pornography news, Dewey Norris, a Hillsborough County School Board maintenance employee, was arrested this past week after he allegedly planted a small camera in his bathroom to record teen girls undressing. The victims were 14 to 19 years of age, sources say. Norris, 51, was booked into police custody on 49 counts video voyeurism of a child over the age 16, four counts of video voyeurism of a child under the age of 16, and one count of destroying evidence. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired legal aid.
According to reports, Norris has worked as an air conditioning unit mechanic for the Hillsborough County School Board for over two decades. The alleged incident occurred at Norris's home in Mulberry. Norris allegedly planted a pen camera in his bathroom and recorded four girls as they undressed. Sources say the victims were 14, 15, 16, and 19 years old. It is not yet clear what relation the girls are to Norris, and it is not clear why they were changing in his bathroom.
A friend who had access to Norris's PC later located a nude image of one of the victims, sources say. After a little more searching, the friend reportedly found seven DVDs containing videos of the victims undressing. The friend reported the videos to the police, who in turn arrested Norris.