State university employee gets 300 more child porn charges

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By: WTSP 10 News
March 14, 2019

LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- A research worker who was arrested last week for child pornography is now facing 300 additional counts of possession of child porn.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Brian Birky's new charges were added after a search of his personal computer and electronic devices.

The 61-year-old Lakeland man was previously charged with nine counts of possession of child pornography when he was first arrested on March 7.

Detectives say a forensic examination of his internal hard drive revealed 300 sexually explicit images of children between the ages of 18 months and 11 years old.

The original charges were third-degree felonies, but the new ones are second-degree felony counts.

"I couldn't even begin to describe the images that were found on this man's computer," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "It's both sickening and very sad. The thorough work done by our detectives should ensure that he's going to be in prison for a long, long time."

The law enforcement investigation began after authorities got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, saying child porn files were associated with an IP address at Birky's home.

Birky posted bond a day after his original arrest. Then, he was arrested again for the new charges on Thursday.

Before his arrest, he had been working as the executive director for public and environmental health research at the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute in Bartow.

He has since been placed on administrative leave, according to the Florida Polytechnic University.

The university previously provided the following statement:

"We have been in contact with law enforcement and will fully cooperate with them on this investigation. Dr. Birky is the Executive Director of the Florida Industrial Phosphate Research Institute in Bartow and has been placed on administrative leave."



 
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