A Gainesville man who was in jail Wednesday facing child pornography charges told police that he wasn’t to blame because he was hacked and may have a second personality who committed the crimes.
Court records said the man was accused of sending child pornography through the messenger app Kik and explicit images to a minor through another social platform.
Vern Asa Most Jr., 24, was arrested by Gainesville police in his apartment earlier this week. He remained in jail Wednesday on a $300,000 bond.
Most could not be reached for comment. The jail allows inmates to talk with reporters only with written permission from their defense lawyer and approval from a senior jail official. Most was assigned a public defender, whose office generally declines to discuss their clients’ cases.
Authorities were tipped to the online exchanges in September after Kik reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that one of its users had uploaded two videos depicting prepubescent children engaging in sexual acts with adults.
Police traced the Internet address to Most’s apartment and showed up Monday with a warrant. Police said Most’s phone showed he participated in Kik chat rooms and was actively exchanging child pornography videos. They found at least five on his phone, police said.
Police said the phone also showed that Most sent a picture of his genitals over the online service Discord to someone who was described in court records as a minor.
During the police interview, Most said he had discovered child pornography on his phone the night before, but he didn’t know how it got there. He speculated that hackers had broken into his accounts.
He later told police he was probably responsible for the illegal activity and that he might have a “second personality that he wasn’t aware of since he doesn’t remember having these interactions,” according to court records.
Most is facing 10 felony charges, including distribution of child pornography, solicitation of illegal sexual contact with a minor, transmission of harmful material to minors, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and five counts of possessing child pornography.
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