Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Clewiston Man Guity On Sex Charges

CLEWISTON, FL. (JAN. 25, 2005) -- Attorney General Charlie Crist announced
that a south Florida man has pled guilty to several counts related to child
pornography and sex acts involving children and was sentenced to 20 years
in prison. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of
Prosecution, which has worked with the Hendry County Sheriff's Office and
the 20th Circuit State Attorney's Office since the earliest stages of the

Buddie Darrell Edwards Sr., 50, of Clewiston was charged after the
FDLE Crime Lab Computer Recovery Unit in Tampa recovered more than 16,000
images of child pornography from the hard drive of a computer Edwards gave
to his son. Some of the images were determined to show Edwards engaged in
explicit sexual conduct with his own minor relatives, while others appeared
to be downloaded from the Internet. The sexual battery crimes took place in
several locations including Boynton Beach, where Edwards worked, and in
Clewiston, where he lived with his mother.

"Sex crimes involving innocent children are the most despicable offenses on
Earth," said Crist. "I am proud that the work of prosecutors
and law enforcement has ensured that this is one predator who will remain
off the street for many years to come."

Edwards pled guilty to nine counts of possession of child pornography and
one count each of capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious
molestation. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Edwards was sentenced to two
20-year prison terms, to run concurrently, as well as mandatory sexual
offender treatment and counseling, sexual offender probation, and costs of
the investigation and prosecution. He will also be required to register
with the state as a sex offender.

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