Former Child Welfare Spokesman Jailed on Porn Charges Denied Bail

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A federal judge is denying bail to a former Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman accused of paying two 16-year-old boys to pose nude and brokering the images to overseas pornographers.

Al Zimmerman will remain jailed in Tampa while authorities seek an indictment against him and search for more victims.

The former television reporter sat quietly with his hand shielding his mouth while his mother described her son as a loving person with deep ties to Lakeland, the central Florida city where he grew up.

Prosecutors, however, argued Zimmerman somehow learned of the investigation against him and enlisted a co-worker to destroy evidence.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo says Zimmerman by his own admission was living two lives. His apparent actions to exploit children while working for an agency whose mission is to protect them, Pizzo says, is reason enough to keep him in custody.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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