Former Walton County Commissioner Arrested on Child Porn Charges - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Former Walton County Commissioner Arrested on Child Porn Charges

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He was thought to be a pillar of the community, but now a former Walton County Commissioner faces charges of child pornography.

News 13 obtained the arrest report that graphically describes videos and images allegedly found on his computer.

Those who took to social media, Tuesday, said it is hard to believe that Lane Rees, a former Walton county man of the year, could be capable of such a crime. Now, he's potentially facing a new title of felon.

The resume of Lane Reese is extensive.

The GOP State Committee Man for Walton County is also a successful business owner, and has been recognized county wide for his charitable contributions.

Monday night, that sterling reputation was tarnished. Reese was arrested at his South Walton home on multiple counts of possession and transmission of child porn.

The arrest brought mixed feelings from the startled community; some were shocked, others were angry and one accused the sheriff's office of a frame job.

"We do not entice people or solicit them by sending them child pornography; we've heard that as well. Our investigators do not do that. Nor does any credible investigator," said Sheriff Mike Adkinson.

Adkinson called the allegations ridiculous, adding Rees' arrest came after an extensive investigation that began with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"You don't accidentally possess hundreds of images, regardless of what the case is, you don't accidentally send it and receive it multiple times over a period of years, you do not accidentally collect it," he said.

News 13 obtained the probable cause report, outlining just what was found in Rees' possession.

Among the files were 74 graphic images of child porn and a 37 second video depicting an adult male performing vaginal intercourse on a female child between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.

Sheriff Adkinson said there is no question to the nature of the video.

"It would be clear to anyone involved that we're dealing with a child here," said Adkinson.

Attempts for comment from the Walton County Republican Executive Committee were unsuccessful.

The Walton County Board of Commissioners were also tight lipped, with the exception of District 5 Commissioner, Cindy Meadows, who said Rees was quote "innocent until proven guilty."

Rees is charged with possession and transmission of child pornography.

Both are third degree felonies which carry up to ten years in prison and a 10,000 dollar fine.

Multiple charges are pending.

 


 

Cyber-crime investigators with the Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) began an investigation on February 25,2013 after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), relating to the possibility of an individual trading in child pornography media files.  After further investigation, the subject who owned the online account was found to be Lane Charles Rees, 61, of Santa Rosa Beach. 

Based on information gathered during the investigation, a search warrant was obtained for 323 Lakeview Drive, Santa Rosa Beach and Rees was arrested in the late evening hours of April 1st.  He was charged with Possession of Child Pornography and Transmission of Child Pornography, both third degree felonies which are punishable by a combined term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and a fine of $10,000.  Rees was transported and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections.

Rees is a former County Commissioner, elected in 2000 and served as chairman in 2001-2002. In 2002, then-Governor Jeb Bush appointed Rees to the Florida Medical Examiner Commission.

News 13 will have more on the arrest tonight on News 13 in HD.