A 26-year-old police officer in Blakely, Georgia, faces charges after authorities launched an investigation into alleged possession of child pornography online and raided his home.
Officials have charged Robert Tyler Vaughn in Clay and Early counties with one count of child sexual abuse and one count of breach of oath of office, WALB reported Wednesday.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) detailed the case in a press release and said additional charges may be pending:
The GBI CEACC unit launched an investigation into Vaughn’s online activity after receiving numerous Cybertip reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding possible possession of child sexual abuse material online. . This investigation led to a search of Vaughn’s home and his subsequent arrest. Vaughn was employed as a police officer with the Blakely Police Department at the time of his arrest. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Blakely Police Department assisted the GBI CEACC unit in raiding Vaughn’s home and arresting him.
An officer from the Blakely Police Department has been arrested and charged with child sexual exploitation. After receiving the NCMEC (@MissingKids) advice, our GBI CEACC unit has launched an investigation.
🔗: https://t.co/f4lF7uosQW pic.twitter.com/Hq2NfUWDnG
— AG Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) November 23, 2022
Once he was arrested, authorities transported Vaughn to the Randolph County Jail.
The GBI said the investigation had begun into online activity and “possible online possession of child sexual abuse material”. https://t.co/KDMG153thz
— WTVY News 4 (@WTVYNews4) November 23, 2022
Child pornography is defined as a type of sexual exploitation of children, and “federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit behavior involving a minor (persons under the age of 18),” according to the Department of United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
The agency continues:
The expansion of the Internet and advanced digital technologies parallels the explosion of the child pornography market. Child pornography images are readily available through virtually any Internet technology, including social networking sites, file sharing sites, photo sharing sites, gaming devices, and even mobile apps. Child pornography offenders may also connect to Internet forums and networks to share their interests, desires and experiences of child abuse, in addition to selling, sharing and trading images.
This type of pornography is the most common crime perpetrated against children and nearly 80% of victims are people between the ages of 3 and 13, News 4 Jax reported in March.
“Sometimes the people who would get into this type of activity are often people you never suspect,” said James Brown, a former Jacksonville sheriff’s officer.