The Miami Herald

Broward man charged with 155 counts of child porn

 
Robert Bethke. Courtesy of Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Robert Bethke. Courtesy of Broward Sheriff’s Office.
A Lauderdale-by the Sea man is facing more than a hundred charges related to child pornography after a task force trolling internet file-sharing sites allegedly found him offering to share photos of children having sex with adults.

Robert Bethke, 51, was originally arrested in early March and charged with 40 counts. Friday, he was back on an additional 115 counts added after investigators were able to examine his hard disks and computer for additional images.

Bethke now faces 155 charges including 40 counts of possession or viewing child counts of sexual performance by a child, and one count of computer pornography, charges that carry a potential bond of more than $1.5 million.

An investigator for the Internet Crimes against Children task force said someone was spotted on a file-sharing site known for child porn trading earlier this year, and after sharing images with the detective posing as a child porn trader, investigators were able to trace the connection to Bethke’s house, where he lives alone, and eventually, to his computer.

Using a search warrant, investigators said they originally found over 100 pictures and videos of children as young as 6 years old having sex with adults. The computers and hard drives were seized, and after investigators found images of sex and bondage with children, Bethke was arrested on March 9th.

While jailed on the original charges, investigators continued to sort through Bethke’s computer gear, finding even more images that led to the charges in court Friday.




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