Former cop could face more child porn charges - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former cop could face more child porn charges

Lee Leonard (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Lee Leonard (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – There could be more trouble ahead for the former Ocean Springs Police officer accused of downloading pornographic movies and pictures of kids to his work computer. Police arrested the 46-year-old Tuesday and charged him with six counts of possessing child pornography.

The now ex-officer hid his face from cameras during his initial appearance in Jackson County Wednesday. It was the first time Lee Leonard heard the long list of charges against him.

"This is a serious case. Not just because he is ex-law enforcement, but this was done on duty," Jackson County Detective Hope Thornton said.

Detective Thornton said the investigation found evidence that the husband and father would use his cell phone as a router and connect it to his police department's computer. She said he would then download pornographic photos and videos of little boys and girls as young as possibly two years old.

"Further charges can be on-going through Jackson County Grand Jury," Thornton said. "We are analyzing all of his computer equipment, hard drives and cell phones."

Thornton said investigators are also focusing on what's on his home computer. But she admits there might not be that much evidence hidden there.

"This was not done, that I can see at this time, at his home as much as he was doing on the job. It is a disgrace."

The judge set the former police officer's bond at $25,000 for each count. Leonard also has been banned from using any computers and the internet right now. Investigators said this arrest shows that no one is above the law.

"Like all of them, they thought they would never get caught."

If Leonard does not make bail, the judge said he will have a preliminary hearing on December 13.

According to investigators, Leonard worked for the Ocean Springs Police Department until mid-October. They say an internal investigation against Leonard was underway. Hours before he was to be interviewed for that investigation, police tell WLOX News Leonard turned in his patrol car and left a resignation letter in it.

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