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Broward Sheriff's Office Sergeant Arrested on 29 Charges of Child Pornography and Illicit Sexual Conduct

A Broward Sheriff's Office sergeant is facing more than two dozen charges of child pornography and illicit sexual conduct after he engaged in sexually explicit exchanges with an underage girl through the internet and social media, authorities said Thursday.

Sgt. Kreg Costa, 43, was arrested on 29 charges including possessing or viewing a depiction of child sexual conduct, sexual assault, lewd or lascivious conduct, using a computer to lure a child and using or allowing a child to engage in sex, BSO officials said.

Costa was being held without bond Thursday, jail records showed. His attorneys, Jamie Benjamin and Daniel Aaronson, released a statement after Costa's arrest.

"Every citizen accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, even if that person is a law enforcement officer. We will diligently investigate and defend these serious charges," the statement read. "Based on our investigation we believe he will be fully exonerated of all charges."

BSO Sheriff Scott Israel discussed the arrest at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

"These charges are deeply disturbing, these allegations if true are reprehensible and actually disgusting," Israel said.

Officials said Costa was suspended with pay and relieved of his badge, BSO ID card and firearm in April. He was arrested Thursday morning when he arrived at the public safety building for a training class, and has been suspended without pay.

Costa, who has been with the BSO since 1999, was arrested following a two-month investigation by the BSO's public corruption unit, officials said.

The investigation began after staff at the Weston district, where Costa worked as a road patrol supervisor, noticed he was staying in his office during his night shift with the lights off and his uniform belt and gun belt removed, officials said.

When detectives looked at a computer usage report of Costa's work-issued laptop from January through March, they found he was viewing hardcore pornography including incest-related and bondage websites while he was at work, officials said.

Detectives monitored Costa's internet activity and found he was engaging in sexually explicit exchanges with a 16-year-old California girl through email, Twitter and videos, officials said.

Costa instructed the teen to record herself while engaging in sex acts with herself, officials said. The teen told investigators she told Costa she was 15 years old when she first started communicating with him.

An arrest affidavit said Costa is the former president of Sawgrass Youth Sports, a football and cheerleading program in Sunrise.

The current president, Brandon Schoppert, released a statement saying Costa has had no affiliation or contact with the organization since he resigned in October 2015.

"While presently there is NO evidence to suggest ANY crimes were committed against our members, we are still taking a proactive approach and response to this matter," Schoppert's statement read. "First, we have notified all our parents of the arrest and the allegations made therein. Second, we have been in contact with the Broward Sheriff's Office and have offered our complete willingness to assist their investigation in any way necessary. Finally, we are prepared to provide assistance and counseling to any of our members adversely affected by this matter."

Investigators said they believe there may be more victims and are asking anyone with more information to call 954-321-1100.

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