Cop charged with child pornography possession

February 11, 2009 6:34:53 PM PST
A Chicago police officer was charged with child pornography possession on Wednesday.Prosecutors say officer Eric Hargrove had images of children on a home computer.

For three years, Officer Eric Hargrove has been enforcing the law. Now he is accused of breaking it, charged with possessing child pornography, a felony that could get him two to five years in prison if convicted.

He was not at work at District 4 police headquarters on the Southeast Side on Wednesday. Instead, Hargrove was in court being charged with one count of possession of child pornography.

The 28-year-old has been a patrolman with the Chicago Police Department for three years. Prosecutors say the charge stems from an on-going investigation by the Cook County Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

Some of Hargrove's fellow officers, who were part of the task force, executed a search warrant on his Mount Greenwood home on January 20.

"As a result of the search warrant, two computers were recovered. Forensic examination was conducted on those computers and numerous images of child pornography were found on one of the computers," said Kathleen Muldoon, assistant state's attorney.

Prosecutors say many of the images were of boys under the age of 18, some as young as 12, engaged in sex acts.

Hargrove was arrested on Tuesday and has been relieved of his police powers.

"He's never been in any type of trouble. During the couple of days that I've known him, the people who know him and his family are stunned at these allegations, and it's something that they say is completely out of character," said Tom Needham, defense attorney.

Bond for Hargrove is set for $100,000 with some conditions. For instance, he's not supposed to get on the internet or have any contact with minors. And so far investigators say that it doesn't appear that Hargrove had any inappropriate contact with minors.