Photographer indicted on 24 counts of "sexual exploitation against a child"

Photographer indicted on 24 counts of "sexual exploitation against a child"

TYLER (KYTX)--A photographer with east Texas was indicted Wednesday on multiple counts of sexual exploitations of a child. Todd Fleming, 53 was indicted in federal court for 24 counts of sexual assault and one count for possession of child pornography according to U.S. District attorneys.

Investigators believe Fleming used his position as a photographer to exploit his victims.

Program Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Smith County Brandy Sawyer said, "From my understanding of the research it's something that's grow

Sawyer said, although the crimes against children change, a child at any age could potentially be a victim."

"Some of the main and longer effects is self blame, shame trust issues especially," said Sawyer.

Tyler Police officer Don Martin said parents that are too trusting of a stranger could be putting their kids at risk.

"Don't leave your child unattended if you go, if you go to have photographs taken you need to stay with them the whole time, said Martin.

He said people often go through family friends or neighbors to find photographers, however that alone may not be enough, because you can't really know what's going on behind closed doors.

April is National Child Abuse Awareness month and people at the Child Advocacy Center said just being aware can change the outcome of similar child abuse situations.

 Police officer Martin agrees. "If a person says you know we feel for you to go down the career you're looking for then you need to dress this way or pose this way or you need to unbutton your blouse a little bit more than what should be appropriate, those are the red flags."

Sawyer with child advocacy said, the key to getting your child to talk about things that make them uncomfortable is keeping the line of communication between parent and child open.

If Fleming is convicted he could face 10 to 15 for each count of sexual exploitation of a child and up to 10 years for the possession of child pornography.


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