Metro-East News

He already faced sex abuse charges. Now Fairview Heights man faces child porn charges.

Joseph Gaither
Joseph Gaither

A Fairview Heights man has been charged with possession of child pornograhy, just a month after being charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Joseph Gaither, 22, went to the Fairview Heights Police Department on May 23 to request help to get property back from a former girlfriend, according to a news release. When an officer found out the ex-girlfriend was only 16 years old, Gaither consented to a inspection of his phone.

The officer found nude photos of the ex-girlfriend, who was only 15 at the time, on Gaither’s phone. Gaither was arrested at the station.

St. Clair State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly charged Gaither with five counts of possession of child pornography on Thursday. He’s currently being held at the St. Clair County Jail. Bail has been set at $300,000.

Almost exactly a month ago, Gaither was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police said Gaither contacted a 15-year-old girl on Faceook and continued to contact her through Snapchat. Although he knew the girls age, he arranged to meet her for a sexual relationship, police said. The girl told police about Gaither in January.

It was not immediately clear if the girl invovled with the aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges is the same girl Gaither allegedly had nude photos of. Fairview Heights Police did not respond for comment Friday afternoon.