Officer Michael Harding of the Port St. Lucie police department, and 2011 Officer of the Year in Fort Pierce, has been arrested by the Department of Homeland Security for child pornography.
A federal court hearing on Wednesday revealed that the married father of three is accused of sending and receiving numerous videos of preteen girls performing oral sex on an adult male. He also had some of even younger girls.
He had sent and received them from July 23, 2015 to Sept. 22, 2015 on the messaging app, Kik. The app doesnâ€™t use a phone number, but uses a screen name. Kik does, however, monitor your device and IP address.
When officers searched his home, a thumb drive with more videos was found in a bedroom closet. It contained â€˜several videos of both young boys and girls performing sex acts,â€™ according to the affidavit â€“ some of them around 6 to 7 years old.
Heâ€™s been formally charged with sending and receiving child pornography and is being held with no bond. He faces a minimum of five years, and maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Heâ€™s been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.