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Florida Gators broadcaster charged with distribution and possession of child pornography

GAINESVILLE -- Longtime broadcaster Steve Babik of the University of Florida radio network was charged on Tuesday in federal court for alleged receipt and distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

"We are deeply disturbed by the charges," said the University Athletic Association in a statement.

Babik pleaded not guilty in U.S. federal court in Gainesville on Tuesday. He was arrested by the U.S. Justice Department. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to Thomas Kerwin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, "the information alleges that on numerous dates between Nov. 2, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009, Babik knowingly received, distributed and possessed materials depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct."

Here's a link to the press release by the U.S Attorney's Office. LINK!

The UAA said in a statement on Tuesday that it first learned of the investigation in November. Babik was immediately suspended from his job responsibilities, according to the UAA, pending the outcome of the investigation. When charges were formally presented in federal court on Tuesday, the UAA fired Babik. On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that the investigation centered around Babik's home computer. The UAA said on Tuesday that Babik's work computer was not seized by investigators.

Babik was the network coordinator at UF for the Gator radio network and had been employed by the university for more than 20 years. He was a radio and TV broadcaster, hosted the TailGator Pre-game Show, reported from the sidelines during football games and hosted the Urban Meyer Post-Game Show.

Babik was released on Tuesday on his own recognizes. His trail will begin March 1 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Gainesville. If convicted of receipt and distribution of child pornography, Babik faces a mandatory minimum of five years to a maximum of 20 years in prison, up to lifetime supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release. If convicted of the second charge, possession of child pornography, Babik faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, up to lifetime supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

-jo-

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