FDLE: Rare to arrest women for child pornography

4:49 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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Lithia, Florida - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has made two arrests in two days for child pornography, one in Hillsborough and the other in Pinellas County.

"It's a pretty safe neighborhood. Definitely shocking experience," says Parvathi Ganduri, a homeowner in the Fish Hawk community. She saw about a dozen FDLE agents arrive at the home across from her on Bridgevista Drive Tuesday morning.

Fish Hawk is a slice of suburban life, with well manicured lawns and large family homes. It's a place where parents and kids feel safe going for a bike ride. But behind these doors, FDLE agents say 40-year-old Stacie Dawn Hamann has secret child pornography.

Ganduri says, "It's disturbing, for sure. I have three children in my house... disturbing, for sure."

Hamann is charged with 10 counts of promoting the sexual performance by a child, a second degree felony.

FDLE Special Agent Chuck McMullen says, "She was taking images of child pornography and uploading them to the Internet for utilization by another party."

He says they're not sure where the kids in the pictures came from. "We don't believe any local kids involved in those images."

Neighbors say Hamann is a mother and a wife. Arrest records show she works as a nurse at a clinic for digestive diseases in Brandon.

McMullen says, "We don't typically arrest women for these crimes. We've arrested men of all ages, races and economic classes. There's truly no profile for these offenders."

Men such as Thomas Chaney. Twenty-four hours after Hamann's arrest, FDLE agents charge the 61-year-old St. Petersburg man with child pornography. Chaney is a teacher's aide at Nina Harris School.

"It's truly a crime that's hidden from other members in the household," says McMullen.

But they can't hide from law enforcement. McMullen says social networking sites flag child porn images and report them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center tracks a general location and calls law enforcement.

Pinellas school district officials say Chaney has been placed on administrative leave.  

Isabel Mascarenas

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