Owner of Climbing Center Accused of Sending Pornographic Images to ’14-Year-Old Girl’
The “girl” was an undercover police officer. The co-owners of the climbing center say they have since “parted ways” with him.
ST. PETERSBURG – One of the owners of a popular climbing center was arrested in connection with allegations that he send pornographic images to a “14-year-old girl,” the St. Petersburg Police Department said.
Christopher Morgan Brown, 41, of St. Petersburg, was charged with 10 counts of Transmission of Materials Harmful to Minors and one count of Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communications Device.
At the time of his arrest Tuesday (Sept. 8), Brown was a co-owner of Vertical Ventures St. Pete, a climbing gym that offers customers a chance to scale 40-foot walls as well as take part in bouldering, autobelays, yoga, and fitness classes.
On Wednesday (Sept. 9), Brown’s partners posted this notice on the gym’s Facebook page: “We were shocked to learn unexpected news today. One of the Vertical Ventures partners has been involved in personal matters that have led to an arrest. Since we do not tolerate or accept any kind of inappropriate behavior, we would like to announce publicly that we have parted ways with Chris Brown, who has been part of our team since 2006.
“We want to assure all of our customers and employees that we are open for business as usual and do not tolerate unacceptable behavior. To our knowledge, none of these actions took place in the workplace or involved any employees or customers. – Hal, Christian, KJ.”
According to the arrest affidavits, Brown was using his cell phone to communicate “sexually explicit” conversations with a 14-year-old girl. He also sent her photographs of naked women in sexual poses and performing sexual acts. At one point, he commented to the 14-year-old girl that he “wanted [her] … like that.”
The girl was actually an undercover detective.
St Petersburg Police | Crime | Arrests | Tampabay News | News Tampa
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