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Freelance photographer faces child porn charges

Freelance photographer faces child porn charges
Freelance photographer faces child porn charges
Stephen Brockman (click for larger version)

A warrant was issued yesterday for a Harrison County man known for taking freelance sports images in schools throughout Harrison, Floyd and Washington counties.
Stephen Brockman, 48, of the 10000 block of Farmers Lane in Greenville, was charged yesterday at approximately 11:30 a.m. with nine counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography.
The investigation started after an incident last month at the McDonald’s in Corydon.
On Nov. 14 at approximately 3:45 a.m., several police officers were at McDonald’s before their shift and one of them got up to go to the bathroom. While walking toward the bathroom, the officer noticed the laptop of Brockman, who was asleep, with multiple pictures displayed of nude children who appeared to be within the age range of 5 to 10 years old.
According to court documents, Officer Nick Smith of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department said he was able to determine the age of the females in the photo by the ‘physical characteristics commonly associated with children of such ages in regard to the lack of pubic and/or breast development.’
Brockman was awakened and was advised of his Miranda Rights and allegedly consented to a warrantless search of his laptop. Smith located multiple digital files containing numerous pictures of nude and partially nude children engaged in sexual conduct. The computer was then powered off and taken into possession as evidence, then turned over to the Indiana State Police for further evaluation.
On Dec. 2, James D. Price, a detective with the Indiana State Police, said he had located and identified hundreds of images of ‘child erotica’ during the examination and search of the laptop. One of the images was that of a child depicted in sexual conduct, he said.
According to Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Haverstock, some of the images were of children who were clothed, including gymnasts and cheerleaders, and some of the images were of children who were nude with their genitals exposed. From what they and the detective could tell, it appeared as those photos on the laptop were not of local children or photos taken by Brockman, but appeared to have possibly been downloaded from a file-sharing site or websites.
‘We didn’t see CCHS (Corydon Central High School) on any uniforms or anything like that,’ Schalk said.
‘After reviewing the photos, we made the decision to charge (Brockman) using applicable law,’ Schalk said. ‘We chose nine images that were sexually suggestive in nature containing underage kids.
‘We have serious concern given his profession and his access to children,’ he added.
Brockman has been a freelance writer/photographer for Green Banner Publications in Pekin. He also has supplied this newspaper with pictures of elementary and junior high basketball tournament-winning teams and homecoming photos over the years.
‘Although a few people have associated Mr. Brockman with O’Bannon Publishing Co. over the years, he has never been an employee of The Corydon Democrat,’ Jon O’Bannon, publisher and company president, said.
If convicted, Brockman faces up to three years in prison on each count. Haverstock said he anticipated the cash bond being $20,000 or a $4,000 surety bond.

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