A Florida man admitted after his arrest to molesting three children in his care, taking pictures of children in public and watching child pornography for 20 years, cops say.
Frostproof resident Keith Garrard Sr., 63, sits in Polk County Jail on charges of two counts of sexual abuse of a custodian on a victim under 12, two counts of sexual abuse by an adult on a victim under 12 and 68 counts of child pornography possession. No bond was granted for the sexual abuse charges. He was arrested on Friday. If convicted, Garrard easily might spend the rest of his life behind bars.
All this was revealed, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, after Garrard pulled out his laptop while at a Highlands County medical facility. Before that, Garrard’s criminal record starts and ends with driving on an expired license in 2013. He paid a fine.
As the sheriff’s office tells it:
Medical facility workers saw Garrard watching child pornography on his laptop and called the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. When deputies showed up and checked Garrard’s laptop, they found child pornography.
Garrard admitted ownership of those images, deputies say, and that he had more at home and that he sometimes takes cellphone pictures of children he doesn’t know when he’s out and about.
Given Garrard’s Frostproof residence, Highlands County contacted Polk, which acquired a search warrant. When they talked to Garrard, he told them he had been watching child pornography for 20 years.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Garrard continued to tell on himself.
“He repeated what he told HCSO detectives, that he had taken photos of female juveniles’ crotch areas with his cellphone, for the purpose of sexual gratification,” PCSO said. “He told detectives he had printed several images, and detectives located 68 printed images depicting children as young as 6 months old being sexually battered.”
Then, PCSO says talking to witnesses uncovered that Garrard raped three children in his care when they were young.
“Garrard confessed to committing the sexual abuse,” PCSO said.