Police investigating pictures taken at 4-H fair

UPDATE:

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate reports of voyeurism and questionable pornography at the 4-H fair.

Parents flagged passing deputies to report a man acting strangely and taking pictures of young girls.

They later found pornography in his car, but were unsure whether it contained illegal images of children.

The man was banned from the fair for a year as the prosecutor decides if there's enough evidence for an arrest.

“We're looking at anywhere from child pornography to voyeurism,” said Capt. James Bradberry. “Those would be the two statutes that you look at in these types of situations and you want to make sure you have all the elements that meet those crimes in order to make a proper arrest.”

Sabrina Horvath who attended the fair shared her thoughts.

“That is concerning because you never know who's going to come behind you and might dig in your pockets or might pull you over to the side and try that on you. You never know on any of that,” she said.

The sheriff's department did not identify the man since he's not facing any formal charges.

ORIGINAL:

Police are investigating a 54-year-old man caught taking suspicious pictures of young girls at the Elkhart Co. 4-H Fair and possible child pornography in his vehicle.

Parents of children in the saddle club alerted officers Wednesday when they saw him acting strangely and taking pictures of girls on horses.

"They did the right thing. They stopped the officers, the officers stopped and talked with this individual, found out that he was taking pictures of younger females," said Capt. James Bradberry with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department.

The man allowed deputies to search his vehicle as part of their investigation. They found "questionable" pornography inside, but did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

"We have to look at all the evidence that's there and we can’t just make a quick-snap judgment and make the wrong decision," said Bradberry.

The sheriff's department and the prosecutor's office are reviewing the case to determine if charges are warranted for the pictures the man took at the fair and if the pornography found in his car contained images of underage children. Bradberry did not identify him because he has not been formally charged.

The man was given a "No Trespass" order, which bans him from the fairground for a year and deputies took all of his contact information.

"Who knows what would have happened if this guy was left alone to take more pictures? Who knows what he would do with those pictures in the future? I think in this day in age with technology that's out there. We have a lot more to worry about with pictures when somebody takes them...where does that go and what are their intentions," said Bradberry.

Parents at the fair expressed concern about the incident, but said it wouldn't deter them from attending.

"That is very disturbing. That's something that shouldn't take place at all," said Jason Cravens, who attended the fair with his wife and 21-month-old son Jack. "It's a really good thing they're watching out for that among other things they are looking for. Any step to keep that away, that's the best. This is too good an environment for something like that to happen."


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