NR 23-19 Brevard Public School employee arrested for Possession of Child Pornography
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 35-year-old James Cohen of Melbourne for possession of Child Pornography. Cohen was taken into custody after an arrest warrant was issued by Judge Ben Garagozlo charging Cohen with ten counts of Possession of Material Depicting the Sexual Performance of a Child. Cohen is currently in the Brevard County Jail Complex on a No Bond status.
The investigation began after the Sheriff’s Office received a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in reference to a person uploading child sexual abuse material. Information gathered from the Internet Service Provider identified a residence in the city of Melbourne that was under the control of Cohen and his father. An employment check revealed that Cohen was employed by Brevard Public Schools as a Instructional Assistant, currently assigned to Tropical Elementary in Merritt Island. It was further learned that Cohen had secondary employment at KinderCare, also located in Merritt Island.
Agents prepared and served a search warrant at Cohen’s residence on Thursday, May 18, 2023, and at the same time conducted an interview with Cohen at his place of employment. Multiple electronic devices were seized from the residence during the search. Cohen admitted during his interview that the Internet identifiers listed in the Cybertip were his and further admitted to viewing images described in the Cybertip, however advised that he had deleted them. Upon being made aware of the investigation, the Brevard County School Board immediately suspended Cohen and the KinderCare removed him from their facility.
A forensic examination of just one of the devices revealed that it contained 170 videos and 10 images of child sexual abuse material. Multiple images depicted the sexual abuse of children and infants by adults to include penetration and bondage. Upon the discovery of this evidence, an arrest warrant for Cohen was obtained and he was taken into custody without incident. At this time, no evidence has been discovered that Cohen produced any images, however additional forensic examinations are being conducted on all of his seized devices.
Anyone who may have information in reference to this investigation or the identity of any potential victims, is asked to please call Agent Aimee Slater of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigative Services, at 321-633-8400.
For additional information concerning this News Release, please call PIO Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office at 321-501-7594.