TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Palmetto man who was accused of sexually battering a young girl at a birthday party is facing more charges after more alleged victims were identified, authorities said.
Christopher Thompson was initially arrested in April and charged with capital sexual battery, exposing minors to harmful images and production and possession of child pornography. Deputies said he and the victim were attending a birthday party, and he lured her back to his home, where he allegedly sexually battered her and made her watch child pornography.
A search of his electronic devices turned up a collection of child pornography along with evidence of self-made child pornography and self-made video voyeurism, authorities said.
Thompson was also accused of filming another girl without her knowledge. The video voyeurism case has been referred to the state’s attorney’s office, authorities said.
Detectives said other evidence and information provided by his family proved valuable in helping them identify other alleged victims.
“The word started to get out that Christopher Thompson was arrested on these horrible charges and then people who had had some kind of relationship, whether it was just people in the community or even family members were starting to come forward,” said MSO public information officer Randy Warren. “That is what is so disturbing. He was around these people and they were very unsuspecting, family members were, that any of this was happening. In the video voyeurism and the child pornography, we are finding some of the victims had no idea.”
Authorities said they identified seven more potential victims between the ages of 6 and 13. Two were from outside Manatee County, in Marion County and in Madison, Alabama, according to deputies. Thompson is being investigated in those jurisdictions for sexual abuse, capital sexual battery and production of child pornography, authorities said.
He was charged with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, sexual abuse and video voyeurism. The charges involved six of the eight alleged victims. Evidence is still being processed with more charges pending.
“This guy was living a double life,” Warren said. “This guy made people believe that he was normal, that he was trustworthy, but we have been able to reveal here was, unfortunate as it is, is that this was not a guy that anybody should have been trusting, but they didn’t know and now we do and he is going to pay the consequences for that and hopefully spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Anyone with information about similar incidents involving Thompson is encouraged to call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011.