SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WRBL) – A joint investigation involving the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI has led to the arrest of a Smiths Station man on 21 child sex charges, including Sexual Torture and Production of Child Pornography.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirms 31-year-old Brandon Hart was arrested early Wednesday morning, September 23, after a search warrant at his residence in Smiths Station led investigators to recover evidence of suspected child sex abuse and pornography.
Sheriff Jones says two victims, known to Hart, have been identified in the case. The victims are between the ages of two and 14-years-old. Investigators suspect the abuse had been happening over the past six months. Sheriff Jones says as the investigation continues, more victims and an expanded timeline could surface.
“We want to make sure we do everything we can to determine if there are other victims and for their protection. I am sure everyone understands the child victims are our first concern and with that in mind I’m really not able to discuss the specifics of the investigation at this time,” said Sheriff Jones.
Hart is being held at the Lee County Detention Facility on a bond that increased to $990,000.00 in the hours after his Wednesday morning arrest.
Hart is charged with 21 counts, including:
-Two counts of Sexual Abuse of Child Less than 12
-Four counts of Sodomy 1st
-One count of Sexual Abuse 1st
-One count of Sexual Torture
-Six counts of Production of Pornography with Minors
-Seven counts of Possession of Child Pornography.
Sheriff Jones says a joint investigation with the FBI was launched recently after investigators learned Hart might be harming children. The investigation led to a search warrant and Hart’s arrest Wednesday morning. Investigators say Federal charges could also be filed.
Sheriff Jones says the investigation is ongoing, and he does expect to release more details later.