A Port Richey man's arrest for child porn raises big concerns; he's an aftercare worker with Pasco Schools and has an adopted 6-year-old.
Port Richey, FL -- There is major concern on several levels following the arrest of a Port Richey man on child pornography charges.
As part of a joint task force called "Operation Safe Childhood," Kenneth Dempsey, 52, was arrested at his home when agents traced dozens of images of children having sex to his computer.
"He just seemed very odd," recalled neighbor Joy Lance.
Lance and other neighbors describe Dempsey as a loner who was overly meticulous about cutting his grass or painting his house. And he was about as unsocial as could be, they say.
Zlata Nuhanovic, another neighbor, says Dempsey would drive past her house slowly, staring, but not saying a word.
"Really, he doesn't tell anyone nothing, you know?" she said, "He just... he was a weird guy, that's all."
On Tuesday, the FBI raided Dempsey's home, charging him with multiple counts of child pornography. They say they traced him though an online photo-sharing website.
Federal agents say Dempsey was not uncooperative. He allegedly led them to an air conditioning vent in his house, unscrewed the cover and removed several compact discs with the child pornography on them.
"He's never been in any trouble, that's all I've got to say," said Dempsey's father Arthur.
In an exclusive interview with WTSP 10 News, the elder Dempsey said he was as shocked as anyone by his son's arrest.
"He's been good. Never done nothing wrong. Not a damn thing," he said.
In fact, Dempsey has no previous record in Florida, but his arrest for child pornography raises major concern.
Dempsey is the assistant administrator at Schrader Elementary School's aftercare program, and has worked in a similar capacity with children at at least a half dozen Pasco schools since 1987.
"We've never had any complaints of any kind, especially inappropriate behavior," said Pasco Schools spokesperson Linda Cobbe.
The district has sent out a recorded warning to parents with children in those schools possibly effected. You can listen to it by clicking here:
Neighbors say Dempsey's wife suddenly left him some time ago. Perhaps most disturbing is that Dempsey was living alone with an adopted 6-year-old son.
"I'm concerned he may have done things to him," said Lance, "Because who knows what goes on behind closed doors?"
Investigators say Dempsey denies having physical contact with any children.
As FBI agents raided the home Tuesday, neighbors say the 6-year-old boy -- who for years had never spoken a word to them -- broke his silence.
"When they took him, he was driving his scooter and he said, 'Hello.' I was in shock," said Nuhanovic. "I was like, 'What's going on? He's never said hi.'"
Dempsey has a bond hearing set for Thursday. Officials say the child was still being evaluated, but has been placed in protective custody.
As for all those schools that Dempsey was working at over the past 16 years, the district says if anyone has something to report, they're referring them to the FBI.
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