Tennessee Human Rights Commission Compliance Director Charged With Child Sex Crimes

A compliance director for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission has been charged with sexual exploitation of minors.

Christopher Matthew Stephenson, 42, is accused of accessing child pornography on the social networking website Tumblr using an IP address registered to his Antioch address, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department news release. Police obtained a search warrant and seized his electronic devices. Sexual images of minors were found on the equipment, the news release said.

Police were acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Stephenson surrendered for booking Tuesday on a sealed grand jury indictment charging him with two counts of sexual exploitation of minors and one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of minors.

The two sexual exploitation counts allege that Stephenson possessed sexual images of children.  The aggravated sexual exploitation count alleges that he electronically distributed the material.  He is not accused of producing child pornography.

Stephenson is being held on a $500,000 bond.  He will be soon be arraigned in criminal court.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency created in 1963 to encourage, promote and advise the public of their human rights, according to its website. The commission became an enforcement agency in 1978.

Stephenson has been with the commission for seven years, according to information on the website about executive staff. He is fluent in Spanish and served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, where he also received a Distinction in Leadership Studies.


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