[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 06/18/20]
LEESBURG, Florida — A Leesburg man charged with a dozen counts of child pornography bonded out of the Lake County Jail just 46 minutes after turning himself in Monday.
James Leroy Stone, 81, turned himself in at the Lake County Jail with a bondsman Monday night and was released on $120,000 bond less than an hour later, according to online booking records.
In March, Microsoft reported an image containing the sexual exploitation of a female who appeared to be less than 8 years old to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC.) The tip was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and its task force began investigating. FDLE subpoenaed the subscriber information for the IP address connected to the image and found it belonged to Stone. Two more tips reported were also connected to Stone’s IP address, according to a probable cause affidavit.
On May 22, FDLE agents served a search warrant at Stone’s Long Meadow Drive home and Stone agreed to speak with agents. He told agents he visits “regular” adult pornography sites such as Pornhub and searches within the site for specific, graphic search terms including “dad daughter.” He advised he had different types of electronics, including an external hard drive on which he stores adult pornography and erotic stories that he has written — stories featuring adult males engaging in sexual activity with children.
Stone allegedly admitted to possessing the three images NCMEC was tipped off to and said he did not believe the images were pornographic, or illegal because he obtained them from adult pornography websites.
The hard drive was searched by an FDLE forensic investigator and 12 images were found depicting a variety of juvenile females who were between what appeared to be 3 years old and 13 years old. The images allegedly contained sadomasochistic abuse, bestiality and sexual battery.
The warrant for Stone’s arrest was issued Monday, the same day he turned himself in.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]