Judge sends former AU police officer's child porn case to Lee Co - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Judge sends former AU police officer's child porn case to Lee Co. grand jury

Dennis Ledbetter (Source: Auburn Police Department) Dennis Ledbetter (Source: Auburn Police Department)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - This week, during a preliminary hearing, a Lee County Judge determined there was enough evidence in the child porn case against 46-year-old Dennis Ledbetter to send it to a grand jury.

The former Auburn University Police Lieutenant was arrested in December after an investigation led Auburn Police to search Ledbetter's work computer at the public safety building on AU's campus.

During the hearing, Auburn Police Detective Kevin Freeze testified back in November ALEA agents discovered someone had downloaded 868 files of suspected child porn images over a peer file sharing program.

Agents traced the download to Ledbetter's IP address on AU's campus. AU gave agents permission to search Ledbetter’s computer where investigators found 868 files had been on Ledbetter's computer, but they were deleted.

Freeze testified Ledbetter gave a rights-advised statement admitting to possession of child porn. Ledbetter also told detectives there were seven thumb drives located in a backpack in his AU office, agents would be interested in for evidence.

Police recovered the thumb drives and found 5,557 images and 111 videos containing suspected child pornography.

The Lee Co. District Attorney's office says The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children confirmed the images contained known child victims. Freeze testified agents chose the three most heinous child porn images on the basis of the three charges against Ledbetter for possession of child pornography.

Ledbetter was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016. He was placed on administrative leave from AU, where at one point he taught RAD or Rape Aggression Defense Classes to women.

Ledbetter was not at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday. He does remain out of jail on a $90,000 bond. His case could go to a grand jury in March.

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