A former music director at a Florida church has been charged with multiple child sex charges after a coworker trying to prank him stumbled upon more than 350,000 images of child pornography on the man’s laptop, police said.
Chad Everett Robison, 36, of Hernando, is charged with three counts of video voyeurism, three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition and one count of promoting the sexual performance of a child, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. He remained in the Citrus County Jail on Monday in lieu of $26,000 bond.
"I want to emphasize that this is a textbook case of an online sexual predator," Sheriff Mike Prendergast said during a Thursday afternoon news conference, which was streamed live on Facebook. "It will not be tolerated in Citrus County, and we’re going to vigorously pursue people who commit crimes like this."
Prendergast detailed some of what investigators found on Robison’s laptop.
"We have videos of Robison having virtual sex with an underage female who is not local, as well as trying to coerce young girls to show him their breasts while he masturbated on camera with them," Prendergast said. "In addition, the defendant was secretly videoing and recording females in his restroom at his home over the course of the time that he gathered up these digital images and videos. We have yet to identify those victims, so additional charges may be forthcoming as we continue to press through the evidence that we’ve gathered."
Prendergast said in a news release last week that the investigation thus far has "just scratched the surface," and that investigators anticipated finding additional suspects as the probe continues.
Capt. Brian Spiddle, with the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit, said some of Robison’s victims could be local, but that others have already been identified out-of-state and in Canada. Investigators have contacted the law enforcement agencies in those jurisdictions.
"It’s going to be a very difficult and long process to find those who have been victimized by this man," Spiddle said in the news release.
Robison was arrested Thursday following a two-month investigation that began when a coworker at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto found the inappropriate images on his laptop, which Robison had left behind at work, Prendergast said. Church officials contacted the Sheriff’s Office immediately, and Robison was fired.
Investigators analyzing Robison’s laptop found the tens of thousands of photographs, along with more than 3,000 videos, the sheriff said. The videos go back several years, though some were as recent as a few months ago.
Robison served at the church from 2011 to his firing in May. Church officials released a statement following Robison’s arrest, according to WFTS in Tampa.
"On Thursday, May 11, we received allegations about material found on the personal computer of our music director, Chad Robison," the statement read. "Prior to May 11, we had no knowledge or suspicion of improper conduct by Mr. Robison. We investigated these allegations and dismissed Mr. Robison from employment at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church on Monday, May 15, and banned him from our campus. Simultaneously, we informed the Citrus County Sheriff's Office of what we had discovered. It should be noted that Mr. Robison was an employee of our church and not of our school. Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church remains committed to full cooperation with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office in this matter."