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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Child Pornography, Sexual Abuse Lead To Sex Offense Charges

Allegations of child pornography and rumors of sexual abuse of a child have led to the arrest of a Wake County emergency responder. Forty-one-year-old Scott Shields has been charged with two counts of second-degree exploitation of a minor and is being held on $25,000 bail in Wake County.

Howard Underwood claims that Shields bragged to him about sexually abusing a child; this testimony was used as at least a partial basis for the issuance of a search warrant in May that was part of the investigation in Shields' alleged illegal sex acts.

Underwood pled guilty to federal criminal charges of distributing child pornography earlier this year.

Shields was working at the Holly Springs Fire Department when the investigation began. He was an emergency services (EMS) employee as well as a field training officer. He was suspended during the initial investigation into the alleged sex crimes but has been fired in the meantime.

Second degree exploitation of a minor is defined by N.C.G.S. §14-190.17 as:

  • Recording, photographing, filming, developing, or duplicating material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity; or
  • Distributing, transporting, exhibiting, receiving, selling, purchasing, exchanging, or soliciting material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Second degree exploitation of a minor is punishable as a Class E felony in North Carolina.

Source: WRAL, "Former Wake EMS worker charged in child porn case," October 23, 2012

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