TN Human Rights Commission exec charged with child sex crimes - WSMV News 4

TN Human Rights Commission exec charged with child sex crimes

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Christopher Stephenson (Source: Metro Nashville PD) Christopher Stephenson (Source: Metro Nashville PD)

A member of the executive staff with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission is accused of sexual exploiting a minor.

Christopher Stephenson, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Investigators, acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, determined that an IP address used to access child pornography on the social media site Tumblr was registered to Stephenson's Antioch address.

A search warrant was executed and Stephenson's electronic devices were seized. Police said sexual images of minors were found during forensic examinations of the equipment by Metro police.

"It's serious business. As technologies get better and authorities get better at tracing these kinds of crimes, those people better be very aware of what they are doing in the online space," said social media expert Mark Adkison.

Adkison is the VP of product development for Zabra, a company aimed at helping parents and their children navigate the world of social media together.

Adkison said it's very easy for Tumblr users to share and comment on all sorts of pictures, even sexually explicit ones.

"You just have to be really vigilant because the technology continues to evolve. There are hundreds of sites that we have not even heard of that your kids are using right now," Adkison said.

Stephenson is the Title VI compliance director with the state-run organization.

His bond was set at $500,000.

Police said Stephenson possessed child pornography and distributed it, but did not produce it.

The executive director of HRC did not want to officially comment, but told Channel 4 she was surprised.

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