The Hoke County man who owned an animal rescue where 600 animals were seized last year was arrested on Thursday 9 Feb for more than hundred child pornography charges.
According to the Hoke County Sheriff's Office 69-year-old Stephen Spear of 400 Fulford McMillian Road, Raeford, was charged with 57 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and 57 counts of third-degree exploitation of a minor,. He is being kept under a $228,000 bond.
Investigators found child pornography on two computers confiscated during the animal cruelty raid on the property in January last year. The investigators don’t believe that any of the children in the images were from the local area said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin.
He said that further investigation brought them to the accused computer. Documents showed that he was involved in the sexual exploitation of these children.
Cape. David Newton said the images were graphic, "Sex acts with adults, sex acts on each other. There were some with animals. It was pretty bad.
According to previous reports in 2009Spear was charged with 18 other counts of second- and third-degree exploitation of a minor. He was a teacher at the Fayetteville Technical Community College.
Peterkin said that it troubles him, as Stephen Spear was lurking. He said the man was still outside; he has a problem, which needs to be shut down.
Spear and his wife, Linden Spear were owners of ‘The Haven - Friends For Life shelter near Raeford’. Authorities raided the shelter in January 2016 after receiving complaints about animal neglect. Over 300 dogs, 250 cats, 40 horses and some farm animals were seized.
The couple was charged with four counts of animal cruelty and three counts of felony possession of a controlled substance. The investigation showed more than 700 animals has been mistreated.