TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced the arrest of a Polk County man on multiple charges of possession of child pornography. Joseph Bass was arrested last night after investigators conducting an investigation through the internet located his collection of pornographic videos of children.
Bass, 61, had the pornographic images on his computers, where they were discovered by an internet investigator with Crist’s Child Predator CyberCrime Unit. The investigator was able to trace the images back to Bass’s previous Lee County residence. Investigators then tracked Bass to his new Polk county residence and obtained a full confession regarding the child pornography. Bass was arrested by officers with Crist’s Child Predator CyberCrime Unit and other law enforcement agencies.
“Child pornography repeats the horrible sexual abuse of a child every time an image is viewed or distributed,” said Crist. “We must remain aggressive in pursuing those who exploit our children in such a heinous manner.”
Law enforcement officers executing a search warrant at Bass’s Bartow residence discovered more than 50 images of child pornography on his computers. Many of the images portrayed sexual activity with victims as young as infants and toddlers. The computers were seized and will undergo further forensic analysis to unearth additional images or videos.
Authorities with the FBI Innocent Images Task Force, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation and arrest.
Bass is currently being held at the Polk County Jail. He is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony.
If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 50 years in prison.
The Child Predator CyberCrime Unit’s mission is to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. The unit does this by working cooperatively on a statewide basis with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to provide resources and expertise, while preventing the spread of these crimes through education and community awareness. Bass’s arrest is the 25th made by officers with the unit since its inception in October 2005. The Child Predator CyberCrime Unit is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) of North Florida.