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The Bizarre World of Florida

Bizarre excuse: “I accidentally” downloaded child pornography while downloading music files” July 1, 2012

A man who served as a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy for 18 years before resigning six years ago was arrested Friday morning on 20 felony charges related to child pornography after deputies searched his home, according to an affidavit and a release.

Cameron Dean Bates, 46, was arrested on 10 counts each of possession of child pornography and compiling child pornography after sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant on his listed address in the 5700 block of Northwest Belwood Circle, an affidavit states.

Bates was a sheriff’s deputy from May 1988 until resigning in June 2006, a release states.

Sheriff’s investigators executed the search warrant at about 7 a.m. Bates said he used “peer to peer software” to download files via the Internet. He said he “accidentally” downloaded child pornography while downloading music files.

Bates told sheriff’s investigators the computer he used was his “work computer,” which was in his Dodge Neon in the driveway. Bates’ listed employer is a fast food eatery.

Investigators found “numerous” child pornography videos and images on the computer.

Additional charges are pending a forensic exam of the computer’s hard drive.

A sheriff’s official said Friday there is no evidence to suggest Bates got any of the files while he was a deputy sheriff.

Bates was held Friday in the St. Lucie County jail on $75,000 bail.

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