Florida

His job is to protect kids. That makes what cops found on his computer more disturbing.

William Smith’s booking photo at Polk County Jail on Dec. 21, 2018.
William Smith’s booking photo at Polk County Jail on Dec. 21, 2018. Polk County Sheriff's Office

A major part of William Smith’s social services job is to make sure the welfare of children is ensured. Smith is a case manager for Youth & Family Alternatives in Lakeland, Florida.

But on Friday, deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Smith, 28, with 15 counts of possessing child pornography.

The sheriff’s department was tipped by CyberTipline, a national online reporting system that combats the online exploitation of children, that a Tumblr account allegedly belonging to Smith contained sexually graphic images of boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12., NBC’s WFLA News Channel 8 reported.

After reviewing nearly 50 images and videos that were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, deputies went to Smith’s home and confronted him.

According to WFLA, Smith told investigators he also traded images on several other social media platforms including Kik and Dropbox and “considers the screen his protection from actually touching a child.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference on Saturday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “He’s a child counselor. That’s right, a child counselor. You know what else he does? He downloads child pornography,” ABC Action News WFTS reported.

Deputies are still investigating and going through Smith’s electronic devices.

Smith’s Tumblr account was deactivated on Dec. 6, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
Support my work with a digital subscription
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
  Comments