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Sarasota deputy resigns, gets arrested after authorities say he sent explicit photo to teen

Detectives say he admitted to sending one picture.

SARASOTA, Fla. — A Sarasota County deputy resigned and was subsequently arrested after the sheriff's office said he sent at least one explicit photo to a 16-year-old.

Investigators say 27-year-old Scott Kelly, of Sarasota, had previously responded to an unrelated call in November at the teen's home.

The next day, authorities say, he contacted the child on Snapchat and ultimately sent images of himself. According to an arrest affidavit, he is accused of sending "approximately three photos" of his genitals. Investigators say he admitted to sending one photo. Either way, the affidavit said the teen felt uncomfortable and blocked him on Snapchat.

When internal affairs recently tried to interview Kelly, the office says he resigned. Then, on Wednesday, he was arrested on one count of distributing obscene material to a minor and five counts of violating public records law. 

Kelly had been with the patrol bureau since his hiring in April 2018. The sheriff's office said it was in touch with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with regard to his "moral character violations and the future of his law enforcement certification."

Anyone with information for detectives was asked to call the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office's Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900. Authorities say their investigation has already widen beyond the photo.

"Further investigation revealed Kelly utilized a law enforcement database to research the driver’s license photos, names, and addresses of several adult females, whom he later connected with on social media," the sheriff's office wrote in a statement.

The affidavit claims the database Kelly used was the Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database, also known as DAVID. Last year, 10 Investigates exposed how government workers statewide were abusing their access to sensitive personal information via DAVID. Our "Abuse of Access" investigation, which was part of our YouTube series "What's Brewing?", led state lawmakers to take action. In June 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law in response to our story. The law changed training for every law enforcement officer in the state.

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