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Child porn arrest costs deputy his badge

– A Marion County sheriff’s deputy has been fired following his arrest on child pornography charges.

Benjamin Farson, 29, was arrested Friday on preliminary charges of distributing and possessing child pornography and child exploitation, the Johnson County prosecutor’s office said. Farson lives in Greenwood, an Indianapolis suburb just over the county line.

Marion County sheriff’s Capt. Michael R. Hubbs told the Indianapolis Star that Farson was fired Friday from his job at the Arrestee Processing Center in downtown Indianapolis. Farson had been a sheriff’s deputy for three years.

Farson could not be reached by phone Saturday. There was no home listing in his name.

Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matthew Fillenwarth said detectives traced pornographic downloads to Farson’s home computer beginning earlier this month.

There wasn’t any evidence that Farson used sheriff’s department computers to download pornography, authorities said.

Investigators found sexually explicit photographs and videos of children as young as toddlers when they searched Farson’s home computer Thursday, according to a probable cause affidavit. One of the video files was 23 minutes long.

Farson told investigators he had accidentally downloaded the images while trying to download adult pornography.

He told police he would delete the child pornography when he realized it was illegal, but police said he also uploaded some of the images to the Internet.

“It’s possible to accidentally download porn, but these files had pretty descriptive tags, and our evidence shows they were saved, viewed repeatedly and uploaded on the Internet so the rest of the world could see them,” Fillenwarth said.

Police from Greenwood contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Department when they learned Farson was a deputy.

Farson was arrested in Indianapolis and taken to the Johnson County Jail. An automated inmate information system did not indicate whether he was still being held Saturday.

Farson is the ninth Marion County sheriff’s deputy or civilian employee to be fired or resign this year after running afoul of the law, according to the Star.

Hubbs said the disciplinary actions show that illegal conduct “will not be tolerated.”