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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 6/19/2014 

 PCSO Investigation Led to Child Sexual Battery/Lewd Molestation Charges Suspect Receives Mandatory Life Sentence 

“The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes detectives are simply the best of the best,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.  “As a result of their hard work and commitment to protecting Polk County’s most vulnerable victims, and because of the exceptional partnership they have built with the State Attorney’s Office of the 10th Judicial Circuit, a true child predator will never walk free again.” 

On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 30-year-old Brian Craft, was convicted as charged of the following counts: 

·         Sexual Battery on a Child Less than 12 Years of Age (carries a mandatory life sentence)

·         Lewd Molestation (life felony carrying a 25 year mandatory sentence)

·         10 counts of Possession of Child Pornography (each count is maximum of 15 years

·         Promoting Sexual Performance of a Child (maximum of 15 years)

·         Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance (maximum of 15 years) 

Polk County Sheriff’s Office learned Child Pornography was being downloaded and distributed to two separate computers at the same residence in Lakeland.  A Search warrant was served at 5210 Dismuke Drive and both Brian and Thomas Craft, brothers, were arrested and charged with multiple counts Possession of Child Pornography.   

During the forensic review of the computers, detectives discovered that in 2011, two young girls had been in Brian Craft’s care and he had sexually battered them on different occasions. 

Brian Craft is scheduled for sentencing at 8:30 am, Friday, July 18, 2014.  Brian Craft will face future court proceedings to additional Child Pornography charges.  Those court dates have yet to be determined. 

Brian Craft’s brother, 31-year-old Thomas Craft, plead guilty to his charges and will serve five years in Florida State Prison, followed by 12 years of Probation. 

The original releases regarding this investigation appear below: 

On Thursday, March 21, 2013, PCSO undercover Computer Crimes detectives arrested brothers, 29-year-old Brian James Craft (DOB 1/5/1984) and 30-year-old Thomas James Craft (DOB 12/7/1982), who both live with their mother at 5210 Dismuke Drive in Lakeland, and charged each with multiple counts Possession of Child Pornography.

According to their affidavits, the investigation began when detectives proactively found that child pornography was being downloaded and distributed from two computers located at the above-listed address.  Detectives served a search warrant at the home, and seized the computers being used to distribute the images and movies depicting children involved in sex acts.  Both Craft brothers admitted to detectives to downloading and distributing the images on their individual computers.  Both Craft brothers were arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail.

Brian Craft has been charged with 22 counts Possession of Obscene Material Depicting Child (Enhanced) (F-2).

Thomas Craft has been charged with 16 counts Possession of Obscene Material Depicting Child (Enhanced) (F-2). 

Second Release after Computer Forensics was conducted: 

On Thursday, May 15, 2013, PCSO Computer Crimes detectives additionally charged Polk County Jail inmate 29-year-old Brian Craft with multiple charges after their investigation into his possession of child porn revealed he molested two young girls he had access to, and created images of the molestation.

According to the affidavit (see attached, with a warning that it is graphic), two young girls, who are 6 and 9 years old presently but were 5 and 7 years old in 2011 when the crimes occurred, recently disclosed to detectives and child protection investigators that Craft had inappropriately touched them on different occasions when they were left in his care. 

During a forensic examination of Craft's computers after they were seized in March 2013, detectives located images that he created of the two victims while he was inappropriately touching them.  

Brian Craft has been additionally charged with: two counts Sexual Battery By Person Over 18 On Victim Under 12 (F-Capital); two counts Lewd and Lascivious Molestation (F-1); two counts Promotion of Sexual Performance By A Child (F-2); and 10 counts Possession of Images Depicting Child Having Sex (F-2). 

"Brian Craft, and his brother Thomas, are very sick individuals. They are the reason we conduct such thorough investigations on anyone who possess or distributes child pornography. Unfortunately, Brian wasn't just downloading images off the Internet and victimizing children in that manner. He also physically and psychologically damaged two very innocent, very young children who were in his care. He belongs behind bars for the rest of his life." - Sheriff Grady Judd