PC man guilty of 25 counts of Possession of Sexual Performance of a Child

A Bay County jury deliberated for 45 minutes Tuesday before finding a 71-year-old man guilty as charged of 25 counts of Possession of Sexual Performance of a Child, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

The charges were enhanced to Second-Degree Felonies because jurors also agreed with Bay County chief prosecutor Mark Graham that more than 10 of the images contained either a child under the age of 5, a child involved in sadomasochistic acts, or sexual battery.

Bay County Chief Prosecutor Mark Graham presented a case that brought guilty-as-charged verdicts on all 25 counts.

Circuit Court Judge Timothy Register set Arthur O. Sauls’ sentencing for March 11. Each of the enhanced charges is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Graham presented evidence and witnesses from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office case showing that in May 2023, Inv. Jacob Roberts received information the defendant had images of child pornography on his phone. Roberts and another deputy went to the defendant’s apartment at 24 Harrison Ave., and told him why they were there.

The defendant let the deputies see his phone and told him they likely were going to find images “that shouldn’t be there.“

“They found multiple images and searches for websites that Inv. Roberts knew to be related to child pornography,” Graham said. “They found pornographic images of juveniles, and when we say juveniles in this case, we are talking about some children under 5 years of age.“

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Investigator Roberts testified the defendant, admitted the phone and the images on them were his. The defendant was arrested that day.

Basford thanked the Bay County Sheriffs Office for its work and for obtaining corroborating evidence through search warrants.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at mike.cazalas@sa14.fl.gov, or call 850–381–7454