FL “Officer of the Year” Sentenced to Life in Prison for Child Porn

Florida police officer Michael Harding had such a promising law enforcement career in front of him when he was named Officer of the Year while working for the Fort Pierce Police Department in 2011.

One year prior to that, he was presented with the Exceptional Police Service award for issuing 76 DUI citations.

But then his career started to falter after accepting a job with the Port St. Lucie Police Department just south of Fort Pierce in 2011.

He was not only reprimanded for failing to complete his Policy Law Institute training online in 2012, he was later found to have been viewing and posting child porn online while sitting in his patrol car during his midnight shifts.

Harding, who is married with three children, would spend his shifts posting child porn with an app called Kik messenger that allowed him to access a chat room called #toddlerfuck, where child porn was viewed and exchanged.

Under the username, ”desthfromabovee,” he probably thought he would never get caught. Especially considering he signed up for the service under the name Mark Powers using a tormail email, which was supposed to protect users before they were shut down [__by the feds in 2013.__](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_Mail)

But a Homeland Security Agent that investigates child porn was able to connect the username to Harding through an IP address.

That led them to obtaining a warrant to search his home where they found a thumb drive filled with more child porn, including one titled “7yo girl fingered deep in both holes” and a video titled “6yo suck,” both which contained videos of children being sexually abused by adults.

That same thumb drive contained photos of Harding in uniform as you can read in [__the criminal complaint.__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/282513666-Officer-Michael-Harding-Criminal-Complaint.pdf)

He was arrested in [__September 2015__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/09/florida-officer-arrested-child-pornography-charges/) and pleaded guilty [__in February.__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/09/florida-officer-arrested-child-pornography-charges/)

On Monday, [__he was sentenced__](http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/former-treasure-coast-officer-gets-life-sentence-o/nrR7m/) to life in prison.

Florida police officer Michael Harding had such a promising law enforcement career in front of him when he was named Officer of the Year while working for the Fort Pierce Police Department in 2011.

One year prior to that, he was presented with the Exceptional Police Service award for issuing 76 DUI citations.

But then his career started to falter after accepting a job with the Port St. Lucie Police Department just south of Fort Pierce in 2011.

He was not only reprimanded for failing to complete his Policy Law Institute training online in 2012, he was later found to have been viewing and posting child porn online while sitting in his patrol car during his midnight shifts.

Harding, who is married with three children, would spend his shifts posting child porn with an app called Kik messenger that allowed him to access a chat room called #toddlerfuck, where child porn was viewed and exchanged.

Under the username, ”desthfromabovee,” he probably thought he would never get caught. Especially considering he signed up for the service under the name Mark Powers using a tormail email, which was supposed to protect users before they were shut down [__by the feds in 2013.__](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_Mail)

But a Homeland Security Agent that investigates child porn was able to connect the username to Harding through an IP address.

That led them to obtaining a warrant to search his home where they found a thumb drive filled with more child porn, including one titled “7yo girl fingered deep in both holes” and a video titled “6yo suck,” both which contained videos of children being sexually abused by adults.

That same thumb drive contained photos of Harding in uniform as you can read in [__the criminal complaint.__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/282513666-Officer-Michael-Harding-Criminal-Complaint.pdf)

He was arrested in [__September 2015__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/09/florida-officer-arrested-child-pornography-charges/) and pleaded guilty [__in February.__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/09/florida-officer-arrested-child-pornography-charges/)

On Monday, [__he was sentenced__](http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/crime-law/former-treasure-coast-officer-gets-life-sentence-o/nrR7m/) to life in prison.

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Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

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