Stillwater, Oklahoma: On Monday, November 28, 53-year-old Kevin Etherington, first assistant district attorney of both Payne and Logan counties, was arrested following an investigation into possible possession of child pornography.
Following his arrest, District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas announced that Etherington had been fired.
"I cannot express how dismayed and disappointed I am about this development." She went on to commend the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation "for their diligence in finding these offenders throughout our state, regardless of who they may be."
In a statement posted to NIXLE, the OSBI disclosed that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children had forwarded fourteen cybertips to them on September 1, 2022.
Thought the course of investigation, the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children Unit determined that Etherington was their possible suspect.
OSBI executed a search warrant on Monday and the results of that search led to Etherington being taken into custody on one count of aggravated possession of child pornography and one count of violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
Etherington is being held in the Payne County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The Stillwater NewsPress reports that the charge of aggravated possession of child pornography is punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison.
According to The Oklahoman Etherington was fired previously in 2010 after it was discovered that he was allegedly having an affair with a married co-worker. At the time, Etherington was also married.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told Etherington in an e-mail at the time, "You're not welcome in the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office and I will have you arrested immediately if you appear at the Downtown DA's Office or the Juvenile DA's Office."
DA Thomas explained that, "It would not be appropriate for my office to prosecute the arrested; therefore, I have initiated the process by which I recuse and ask the Attorney General to assign the case to another district attorney outside of my district."