Gainesville man with history of indecent exposure arrested for possessing child pornography, soliciting child sexual abuse material

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A local man with a record of indecent exposure going back decades was arrested Tuesday evening for possessing child pornography and soliciting child sexual abuse material online.

Thomas Duval Andrews, 63, was arrested by the Gainesville Police Department around 6 p.m. Tuesday following an investigation that began nearly a year ago with a tip.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a Virginia-based nonprofit, received a tip in November 2021 from Flingster, an adult video chatting app, stating that an anonymous user was soliciting child sexual abuse material. The tip included some messages sent by the user and the user’s IP address, according to Andrews’ police arrest report.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children eventually referred the tip to the Gainesville Police Department. GPD sought a subpoena to track the user’s IP address, which led to Andrews’ residence.

The department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Division and SWAT team served a warrant at Andrews’ residence on Oct. 11 of this year. Andrews denied watching “kiddie porn” and informed officers that he didn’t wish to speak with them about the case, according to the arrest report.

Police seized several electronic devices from Andrews’ home which they say contained child pornography, leading to Andrews’ arrest Tuesday. Eleven devices were seized in total, including a cellphone, a computer and several hard drives and floppy disks, according to Detective Sgt. Chris King.

Andrews’ cellphone contained 45 images of child pornography, and his computer contained nine images of child pornography, including images of pre-pubescent children.

Several of the images include an adult sexually interacting with the children. At least one of the images included the children sexually interacting with each other. The phone’s search history included sexually explicit search terms.

Andrews has a previous criminal record. 

In 1979, Andrews was charged with and pleaded guilty to public indecent exposure, but his adjudication was withheld. He was arrested and charged with public indecent exposure again in 1980, but the case was terminated, according to Florida Eighth Circuit Court records.

He was charged with three separate instances of public indecent exposure in 1982, for which he was adjudicated guilty in two of the instances. The third instance was dismissed from court.

Andrews is being charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of solicitation of child exploitation material. A single count of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony, carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A count of solicitation of child exploitation material, a second-degree felony, carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Andrews faces up to 70 years in prison in total

The court has issued a no-contact order for Andrews in regard to his victims, according to court records.

He is being held at the Alachua County Jail. No bond has currently been set.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Division has made 13 arrests this year, according to King.

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This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org

About Silas Morgan

Silas is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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