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Polk Fire Captain caught downloading child porn while on duty, sheriff's office says

Brian Steger, 40, faces 25 counts possession of child pornography
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Posted at 1:00 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 09:42:59-04

LAKE WALES, Fla.  — A Polk County Fire Captain is facing dozens of charges after he was caught actively downloading child pornography files while on duty, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said detectives went to Fire Station #26 in Lake Wales on August 7 after they got a tip related to Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Brian Steger, 40.

At the station, where Steger was on duty, the sheriff's office said detectives found his personal computer, which was actively downloading pornography files. Steger told detectives he set up internet access in his name at the station for personal use, PSCO said.

On that computer, detectives found 25 files of enhanced pornography that showed children as young as five years old being sexually battered, according to the sheriff's office.

Steger is charged with 25 counts of possession of enhanced child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography.

The sheriff's office said enhanced child pornography meets one of the following criteria:

  • A child who is younger than 5 years old
  • Sadomasochistic abuse involving a child
  • Sexual battery of a child
  • Sexual bestiality involving a child
  • Any movie involving a child, regardless of length

Detectives seized Steger's devices which the sheriff's office said will be examined and could result in more charges if anything is found.

Steger was hired in 2003 by PCFR and resigned in lieu of termination after his arrest.

"One of the most important kinds of investigations we do is identifying those who are distributing child pornography. Those who download, view, and exchange these terrible images and videos fuel the market for exploitative images that are dependent upon the continued and ongoing sexual abuse of children," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "I appreciate the hard work our detectives do to locate and charge those in Polk County who download child sex abuse images and videos. The fact that the person we arrested is a public servant is especially troubling. We will make sure he is held accountable for his actions."