Columbus police sergeant facing 4 felony counts of child pornography

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Franklin County grand jury indicted a former public information officer with the Columbus Division of Police Wednesday on four felony counts related to child pornography.

Sgt. Dean Worthington is accused of downloading child pornography to his personal cell phone. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says the social networking website Tumblr provided a tip to law enforcement after Worthington allegedly uploaded an image of child pornography.

Worthington was indicted on one count of illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, one count of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor – both a 2nd-degree felony – and two counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor.

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“Between January and July of 2018, it is alleged that Worthington uploaded an image to Tumblr and downloaded multiple videos and images depicting young children engaging in sexual activity with adults,” O’Brien stated.

Columbus Police confirmed Worthington was relieved of his assignment last week. Police spokeswoman Denis Alex-Bouzounis said Worthington turned in his badge and gun at that time.

Worthington has been with the department since 1996 and became a spokesman in September 2017.

Worthington surrendered Wednesday at a county jail. Defense attorney Dan Sabol says Worthington will plead not guilty.

His arraignment is Friday.