The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested James Viele, Jr. Tuesday for allegedly possessing hundreds of files of child pornography and possibly accessing thousands more.

  • Deputies reportedly found 274 suspected child porn files on laptop
  • Viele admitted to downloading child porn files since he was a teen
  • Viele also charged with one count of transmitting child pornography

A Pasco Sheriff’s arrest report states investigators found 274 suspected child porn files on Viele’s laptop. They reviewed 22 of those files and found graphic videos, some involving children younger than five years old, engaged in sex acts.

An IP address linked to Viele’s home also may have accessed child pornography files at least 2,529 times in October and 18,779 times in March.

According to the report, Viele admitted to downloading such files since he was 17 years old. He also reportedly told investigators he would use search terms like “’1 yo (year old)’ ‘2yo’ ‘3yo.’”

This is not the first time Viele has been in trouble with the law for an alleged sex-related crime involving a child. Pasco County Sheriff’s records show he was arrested in April 2012 and charged with lewd and lascivious battery and child abuse for allegedly impregnating a 14-year-old.

The case was dropped a month later. According to court documents, the state attorney’s office investigated and found “that the facts and circumstances revealed do not warrant prosecution at this time.”

“It’s a really, really disturbing case when you have somebody who admittedly has committed some of these acts in the past and has not been in any way stopped from doing that in the future,” said Pasco Kids First President and CEO Rick Hess. The non-profit organization provides services for child abuse victims.

Hess said his team conducted more than 200 forensic interviews with children last year in an effort to produce the most complete information possible. That information was then passed on to prosecutors to help them build strong cases.

“We understand the challenges that our colleagues in the sheriff’s office and the state attorney’s office have with these cases and that type of thing, but…it’s very, very frustrating for us,” Hess said.

The arrest report states Viele denies abusing any of his three children, who are all younger than six years old. The document goes on to say, “He also admitted that if he did not seek help that he could possibly sexually abuse a child in the future.”

Viele is charged with 21 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of transmission of child pornography. He’s in jail on $1.1 million bond.