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Catholic church employee downloaded child porn while at work, deputies say

Operations manager arrested on child porn charges

Mark Cook
Mark Cook


OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A Catholic church employee used his work's Wi-Fi to download and view child pornography while on the job, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the investigation began when detectives received a cyber tip on June 21 about child porn possibly being downloaded in the area. Through the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that the illicit images were viewed using the Wi-Fi at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic in Saint Cloud on May 24, a news release said.

The State Attorney's Office granted a subpoena so Spectrum would turn over the account information of the person who accessed the two illegal images. That subpoena, which was fulfilled on Monday, led deputies to identify St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church business manager Mark Cook as a suspect in the case, according to an arrest affidavit.

During an interview with authorities, Cook admitted to using his personal cellphone to connect to the church's Wi-Fi, access his Microsoft Skype account and view the images, deputies said.

Cook was arrested Tuesday on two counts of promoting movie or photo of a sexual performance by a child.

Deputies said the investigation is still active and anyone with information on his case or any similar cases should contact the Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222.

The Diocese of Orlando released a statement about the arrest, saying that Cook has been terminated from his position, which did not involve direct contact with "vulnerable populations."

"We are cooperating with law enforcement's investigation.  If you have any information pertaining to this arrest, please contact the Osceola County Sheriff's Office," the statement read. "We pray for the victims of child pornography and their families, our Parish and school community and all those involved in this situation. May the mercy of God be upon us."
 


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