Michael Harding, Cop Who Was Once 'Officer of the Year,' Arrested on Child … | us news

Michael Harding, Cop Who Was Once ‘Officer of the Year,’ Arrested on Child …

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Florida Police Officer Accused of Distributing Child Pornography While on Duty.

Michael Harding was named “Officer of the Year” in 2011 in Fort Pierce, Fla., before joining the department in Port St. A search warrant at Harding’s home revealed a thumb drive that contained hundreds of images and videos of children in sexual situations, NBC News reports. The 27-year-old married father of three posted explicit material to the Kik chatroom #toddlerf**k while stationed in his police vehicle on patrol on the overnight shift beginning on July 23, according to an affidavit. A Homeland Security Investigator stumbled onto posts Harding made under the name destheabovee showing young girls in sex acts with men, the affidavit said. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc tells WPTV.com. “He did very well on all the different things we do in the hiring process — psychological evaluations, polygraphs — all that checked out fine.” “Some people are so good at the denial and putting it in the little box and hiding it away that it doesn’t come out on a polygraph.

Harding faces federal charges for receiving and distributing material involving sexual exploitation of minors, and possession of child pornography, CBS reports. Harding was taken into custody Tuesday evening and appointed a public defender Wednesday after telling a judge he had $3,000 in his bank account, WPTV reported. According to the investigators’ account, Harding’s activity was allegedly “consistent with the child pornography uploads taking place while Harding was working in his vehicle.” On Tuesday morning, investigators searched Harding’s home. When the department first learned of the investigation Tuesday morning, he was placed on paid leave. “These charges are very serious and I think it goes without saying that this type of behavior will not and is not tolerated in this department,” Bolduc said. later calling the charges “disturbing.” He said the charges were shocking because Harding had passed hiring tests, including a polygraph test, as an “accomplished” officer.

Department spokesman Frank Sabol told the Daily News he couldn’t comment on the federal charges but noted Harding had no disciplinary action against him in his three years with Port St. Nestor Yglesias, the spokesman for Homeland Security Investigations in Miami, said he could not release more information because of the ongoing investigation and criminal case.

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