Photographer Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of Minor - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Photographer Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of Minor

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by Janet Kim

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A 70-year-old Putnam County photographer was arrested after authorities found more than 100 videos and/or images of child porn.

Putnam County deputies took James "Punch" Parker into custody Wednesday during a traffic stop near his residence.

Investigators began looking into Parker in December 2012 after receiving information that he was taking photographs of underage children at his home in Bloomington Springs.

Some of the children told their parents there was video equipment in a changing area where they were asked to change for "photo sessions."

"It's children and obviously we have a duty and an obligation to do whatever we can to stop this and investigate it" said Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews. 

He was also a volunteer photographer at Jackson County Middle School, where neighbors say he would take photos at events.

"Punch would go out there and take pictures at the ball game," said Henry Godwin, a neighbor.

However, Parker hasn't been on school grounds since the beginning of the year according to school officials.

"When we were informed of the investigation, we immediately barred him from all school campuses," said Jackson County Schools Director Joe Barlow. "To the best of our knowledge, the incidents in question did not occur on school property.  We have cooperated, and will continue to work along side law enforcement officials during the course of the investigation and whatever legal process may result."

He was recently indicted by the Putnam County Grand Jury for sexual exploitation of a minor. Parker was released Wednesday afternoon on $150,000 bond. He will be arraigned in Criminal Court at later date.

Email: jkim@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5JanetKim
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