An East Texas photographer who was arrested on child exploitation charges.
The U.S. Attorney's office said 53-year-old Todd Fleming turned himself into the U.S. Marshals Service in Tyler. He was released from jail on Thursday.
He was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on April 17 and according to the indictment, eight victims have been identified and confirmed and at least seven victims are suspected to have been exploited by Fleming.
KLTV spoke to a young woman who would like to remain anonymous. She said she was a cheerleader at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler. She said Fleming was at the games taking pictures of the cheerleading squad and the football team. When it came time for her to graduate, her family hired Fleming to take her senior pictures. She said this news comes as a huge shock.
"He was like literally, the nicest guy in the world," she said.
This former Robert E. Lee student said Fleming was a familiar face among students.
"Oh, very popular. Like, everyone knew Todd," she said.
We found these photos on Fleming's Facebook page showcasing the Robert E. Lee football team, cheerleaders, Southern Belles and the baseball team. We blurred the images in the video to protect the identities of those students.
After seeing his work, the young woman said students started hiring him to take their senior portraits
"There were probably like six of us who he took our senior portraits and he did like all of my brother's friends too," she said.
She said she was shocked when she heard the photographer who had spent so much of his time photographing her friends and family now faces multiple charges.
According to the indictment, between 1999 and 2007, Fleming coerced or persuaded minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct while photographing them. The victims range in age from 12 to 17.
Fleming faces 24 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography.
"I would have never even, I don't know. I would never think he would ever do something like that, but I am so glad I was with my mom during my photo shoot because it was like a 6 hour thing and that would have just been extremely weird," she said.
If convicted, Fleming will have to forfeit a number of items including laptops, seven bikini tops and 6 bikini bottoms, a BB gun, and a black lockable box containing fake blood, comic books and baby oil.
Fleming was a resident of McKinney most recently; however he did turn himself in to Tyler authorities. It is not known exactly when or why Fleming turned himself in to authorities in Tyler because the U.S. Attorney's office has sealed personal recognizance bond.
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