A Dayton, Tenn., pawn shop employee who accidentally knocked over a camera in the back of the store last week was shocked when she turned on the device to ensure it worked, Dayton police officials say.
Stored on the camera were pornographic images of three children between the ages of 2 and 6, Dayton Police Department Investigator Steve Rievley said.
The camera was turned over to authorities, and Billy Estep, 51, has been charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and eight counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
Rievley said the children were related to Estep, and that there is no indication how long the abuse had been going on. "They were recent photos, taken within a few months," he said.
Estep could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
Investigators traced the camera to Estep through the pawn slip he turned in with the camera, which included a copy of his driver's license. He regularly pawned items at the U.S. Money Shops store, employees told police. "He pawns a lot of things there. He may just have been tight for cash and forgotten what was on the camera," Rievley said.
An employee at U.S. Money Shops said Wednesday that the store had no comment.
Estep paid a $10,000 bond and was released Dec. 11 from the Rhea County Jail, records show.
Rievley said the Tennessee Department of Children's Services has intervened and that the children have been moved to a different home.
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