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Grace Marketplace resident arrested on child pornography charges

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Stephen Edward Cobb, 60, was arrested yesterday and charged with five counts of possession of photos or movies depicting child pornography.

The investigation began with a “CyberTip” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, advising Alachua County Sheriff’s Office that Facebook had reported an account, registered to “Stephen Cobb,” sharing child exploitation material via Facebook Messenger. The uploads of the material occurred in December of 2021.

A search warrant produced the email address and phone number associated with the Facebook account, and that account is reportedly in the name of Stephen Cobb, with the account’s address at Grace Marketplace. The warrant also produced 48 images or videos that are child sexual abuse material, along with 82 images or videos that are either child erotica or are “age questionable.” The warrant also produced chats in which the images and videos were shared, along with some chats about attraction to children. An email address associated with the Facebook account was also traced back to Cobb, and his phone was reportedly logged in to both that email account and the Facebook account at the time of his arrest.

Post Miranda, Cobb reportedly said he had previously been attracted to children between the ages of 3 and 14, but he is “cured” because he’s no longer smoking “spice.” He also reportedly said he was “under the influence” when he shared child sexual abuse material in the past.

Cobb is a registered Sexual Offender who was initially convicted of sexual conduct with a minor in 1992 in Michigan. He has served Florida prison terms for failing to report as a sexual offender in 2014 and for lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 16 in 2018. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

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Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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