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Indian River County deputy faces child porn charge

Kai Cromer accused of getting videos from women on Snapchat
Booking photos of Kai Stewart Cromer. March 5, 2024.png
Posted at 9:00 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-06 11:56:22-05

VERO BEACH, Fla. — One day after being sworn in as an Indian River County Sheriff's Office deputy, a 19-year-old man was arrested and facing a child porn charge that includes videos obtained from victims on Snapchat, the sheriff said Tuesday night.

Kai Cromer was booked into the Indian River County jail at 8:31 p.m. Tuesday but bonded out about three hours later. More charges are forthcoming, the sheriff said.

Cromer was terminated while in his jail cell, Sheriff Eric Flowers said at a news conference Tuesday night.

WATCH: Sheriff Eric Flowers announces arrest of deputy

Indian River County sheriff announces arrest of deputy on child porn charge

Flowers said he swore Cromer in Monday morning, along with several other deputies after he was hired on Jan. 8 from the academy.

"At the beginning of the day (Monday), one of those deputies by the name of Kai Stewart Cromer walked onto campus of one of our high schools here in town," Flowers said. "And a brave young female alerted our staff that this deputy had been contacting her via Snapchat asking her to send photographs — pictures, topless pictures — and that she felt very uncomfortable. That began our investigation."

The school was identified as Vero Beach High School in an X post.

Detectives confiscated the suspect's phone and viewed 100 gigabytes of data.

An illicit video of an underaged girl was found on Cromer's phone.

"He was telling people, 'I'm going to be law enforcement. I'm very powerful,'" Flowers said.

Flowers said the women were very uncomfortable with the situation and felt they had no choice but to accommodate him.

"These people are very concerned for their safety," Flowers said.

The sheriff said there are at least four victims.

"I'm here to make a plea to the public," Flowers said, noting that arrest photographs of deputies are usually not released. "He used his name as his Snapchat handle. We want the public to know, if you've seen his guy on Snapchat, if he has contacted you, we need to talk to you."

The sheriff's office can be contacted at 772-569-6700. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477.

Indian River County jail records show that Cromer posted a $15,000 bond and was released from custody Tuesday night.

After his arrest, Vero Beach High School released the following statement:

"Important Notice: We are deeply troubled by the recent arrest of a newly hired IRCSO deputy for soliciting inappropriate photos from underage students at VBHS. This individual was NOT working at VBHS. The safety and well-being of our students are our highest priorities."