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VIDEO: Indian River County Sheriff Deputy Charged with Possession of Child Pornography, Then Fired, One Day After Being Sworn In

Kai Stewart Cromer
Kai Stewart Cromer

Indian River County - Wednesday March 6, 2024: Kai Stewart Cromer was arrested and jailed on a child pornography charge Tuesday, one day after he was sworn in as an Indian River County Sheriff (IRCSO) Deputy. He was then fired while in jail.

"We unfortunately had the task of arresting a Deputy tonight," said Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers at a Tuesday evening news conference.

The 19-year-old Cromer was hired on January 8th after graduating from the academy. He was sworn in just after lunch-time on Monday afternoon, along with four other deputies. That same day, he was on the campus of Vero Beach High School. A female student at the high school saw him in uniform and contacted the Sheriff's office.

"A brave young female came forward," said Sheriff Flowers, "and alerted our staff that this deputy ... had been contacting her via Snapchat, asking her to send photographs, asking her to send naked pictures, topless pictures, and that she felt very uncomfortable seeing him on campus."

The Sheriff said he immediately launched an investigation and got a search warrant to seize and search Cromer's cell phone. Investigators worked overnight Monday into Tuesday to examine over 100 gigs of data from Cromer's phone and, among other images, they found video of an underage girl performing sex acts.

"He used his name as his Snapchat handle, Kai Cromer," said the Sheriff. "We know of four victims at this moment, four people that he was contacting. We know that he requested video, photographs. He was telling people, I'm going to be law enforcement. I'm very powerful."

The Sheriff said the victims who have come forward "are very concerned for their safety ... (Cromer) was forcing these girls ... and they felt that they had no choice but to do these things."

Sheriff Flowers asked anyone else who may have been contacted on Snapchat by Cromer to call the Sheriff's Office. "We expect that in the very near future we will be filing many additional charges on top of this.

When asked about the screening process for deputies before they're hired Sheriff Flowers said - "We do a full, thorough evaluation, of their Social Media that's public facing," said Sheriff Flowers."We look at their Facebook, we look at their Instagram accounts ... unfortunately Snapchat is a private exchange of information ... until he walked on campus yesterday and this young girl came forward, we had no indication that this guy had anything like this going on."

In defense of the Department's hiring process he added, "Within 24 hours he has been terminated and arrested. I think we've done a pretty good turnaround from the second we knew about it."

Cromer was booked into the Indian River County Jail about 8:30 p.m. on one count of Child Pornography. While he was in jail last night he was informed that he had been fired and that he was no longer an Indian River County Sheriff deputy. Bail was set at $15,000. He was released three hours later after posting a bond.

Flowers Newser 2.mp4