A former student was arrested for the second time on Aug. 28 for second-degree felony indecency with a child by sexual contact and third degree felony possession of child pornography, according to police.
Benjamin Roberts, a 25-year-old Abilene resident, originally was arrested in February at his home on Cockrell Street after Abilene Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit accused him of downloading child pornography. The team found more than 400 child pornography images and 33 videos, police say.
Taylor County ultimately dropped its own child pornography charges in the spring but left the other charges intact.
Roberts was released from the Taylor County jail after bonding out on Aug. 22 but was rearrested after the FBI filed its own charges against him, according to police. Possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Indecency with a child is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
“The collaborative effort between Taylor County, the Abilene Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations aided in the re-arrest of Roberts,” said Rick Tomlin, public information coordinator for APD, in a press release.
Roberts worked in children’s daycare at Wylie Baptist Church, Southern Hills Church of Christ and the Beltway Park Church Youth Program. Until the fall of 2015, he studied child and family services. According to the police press release, the victim count among the three churches is still eight.
“We anticipate this could change, as this is an ongoing investigation,” Tomlin said. “We still have to review some video.”
At a press conference on May 29, Standridge announced an arrest warrant for Amanda McKee, the childhood development director at Wylie Baptist Church, for failure to report. An arrest record said McKee self-surrendered on May 29.
“This is a reminder to all of our citizens that you are required by statute to report alleged child abuse within 48 hours either to Child Protective Services or to law enforcement,” Standridge said in the press conference.
Roberts remains in the Taylor County Jail.