Tennessee Human Rights Official Accused of Child Sex Crimes

Christopher Matthew Stephenson. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CN) – A compliance director for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission surrendered Tuesday on charges of sexual exploitation of minors, police said.

Christopher Matthew Stephenson, 42, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of sexual exploitation of minors and one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of minors.

He is accused of possessing more than 200 sexual images of children and electronically distributing the material. He is not charged with producing child pornography.

According to Nashville police, a detective in the department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The detective then traced an IP address used to access child pornography on social media site Tumblr to Stephenson’s address in Antioch, Tenn.

Stephenson’s electronic devices were seized on a search warrant and sexual images of minors were found during a forensic examination, according to police.

Nashville police said Tuesday that Stephenson had turned himself in for booking. He is being held on a $500,000 bond and will be arraigned soon.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is a state agency created to protect people against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Stephenson is listed on the agency’s website as its Title VI compliance director.

According to a report from local CBS affiliate WTVF, Stephenson is currently still employed by the commission and news of his arrest came as a shock to co-workers.

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