Florida ‘Officer Of The Year’ Arrested On Child Porn Charges

Michael Harding, 'Officer of the Year' phot
Michael Harding, ‘Officer of the Year’ phot

Port St. Lucie Officer Michael Harding was arrested Tuesday evening after Homeland Security investigators found child pornography on his Kik messenger app.

As it turns out, the 27-year-old married father of three, had posted the child porn while inside his police cruiser – while on patrol. Officer Michael Harding was uploading the explicit material to a Kik chatroom called #toddlerfu*k.

An investigator with Homeland Security accidently stumbled onto some posts made by Harding under his online name, destheabovee, which showed underage girls performing sex acts with men. The investigator determined that the IP address associated with the uploads/posts belonged to Harding’s cell phone number.

Later, a search of Harding’s home turned up a thumb drive that was hidden in a gun case inside his bedroom. That drive contained hundreds of child porn images and videos. Another thumb drive was found, but the images had been deleted. Techs were able to recover the deleted images, which contained 23 more sexually explicit pictures.

The images found were of pre-school and prepubescence boys and girls.

During the federal court hearing Wednesday morning in Fort Pierce, he was formally charged with sending and receiving child porn, which is a minimum of five years and maximum of 20 years in prison.  Officer Harding was also denied bond, with the judge saying that Officer Harding is a danger to the public.

Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc said that Officer Harding has been on paid leave since he became aware of the investigation, but that he is now on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of his trial.

2012Harding was named Fort Pierce Police Officer of the Year in 2011. He joined the Port St. Lucie Police Department in 2012. Harding was also shown in this photo, under the heading that states “St. Lucie County’s Officers of the year 2012”

Ironically, Officer Harding received a ‘letter of appreciation’ from the Juvenile Restorative Justice Initiative.

 

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