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Photographer Facing Child Pornography Charges

By Associated Press and Staff Reports

JACKSON, Tenn. - Federal prosecutors say a professional photographer and musician from Perry County has been charged with possessing child pornography.

The U.S. attorney's office for West Tennessee said Wednesday that Robert Gregory Dempsey, also known as Jesse Rockwell, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Jackson on charges of possession and interstate transportation of child pornography.

According to the Perry County Sheriff's Department, Dempsey first came to the attention of local authorities when a report was received from law enforcement officials in Utah that Dempsey had produced and was possibly still in possession of child pornography. Further investigation resulted in a search warrant being executed on Dempsey’s residence where evidence was recovered that led to the charges being filed against him.

Sheriff Tommy Hickerson stated that, “Protecting the children of Perry County is the first priority of each and every member of this office. This office will aggressively pursue any investigation into allegations of abuse or exploitation within our jurisdiction and beyond. I am glad that we were able to work with authorities in Utah and the FBI in a joint effort to remove a sexual predator from the streets of Perry County.”

Prosecutors say Dempsey owned Rockwell Photography. Prosecutors say he used social media and the Internet to promote his business throughout western and central Tennessee, including Nashville and the Perry County area.

Investigator Johnny Hilburn of the Perry County Sheriff’s Office stated, “At this point we have been able to bring charges against Dempsey. We are still looking into the possibility that there may be additional victims. I would ask that if you know of a child who has had exposure to Dempsey/Rockwell, no matter how slight please contact this office at 931.589.8803 or Special Agent Randy Pope of the Jackson Field Office of the FBI at 731.668.9578."

If convicted, Dempsey could face up to 20 years in federal prison. Online federal court records do not show when he has a court date or if he has a lawyer.