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EBR's contracted chief building officer arrested for allegedly sharing child porn with undercover officer

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, May 23 2024 May 23, 2024 May 23, 2024 4:56 PM May 23, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — Blake Steiner, the city-parish's chief building officer, on contract from a Houma-based construction firm, shocked his coworkers and neighbors when news of his child porn-related arrest broke Thursday.

"I knew something was going on and then I saw everyone's jackets said 'HSI' so I knew something serious was happening," said his neighbor Stephanie Thibodeaux.

Thibodeaux watched as Homeland Security raided the 37-year-old's home Monday.

"It was a long process of them going back and forth and coming out with evidence in clear bags. I saw them bring the kids out hours after with the wife, but I never saw the husband or anything like that," she said.

She says she was floored when she finally found out what led to the arrest.

"It's an uneasy feeling knowing what it is now," Thibodeaux said.

According to an affidavit, in March, Steiner used the messaging app "Kik" to try and join a private group for "taboo subjects."

In 2022, we spoke to an agent with the special victims unit about the app and its prevalence among pedophiles.

"That's one of the major dangers. The people you're communicating with may not be real. Oftentimes they're not or they're using fictitious names, emails, things of that nature," said Agent David Ferris.

However, Steiner reportedly did little to conceal his identity — using his actual photo and home wireless network.

On the app he went by "BigDaddyB" and his bio said, "Let's get naughty."

In an attempt to get into the group, "BigDaddyB" — who unknowingly was talking to an undercover agent — says "I'm into teens. Mostly 15 and up but will go younger...I like incest but haven't been active....Dabble in bestiality occasionally."

Due to the sensitive nature of the content, WBRZ cannot list all of the messages.

Officials say Steiner even sent a video of himself, saying the date.

Eventually, officials said, he sent a video depicting a sexual encounter between a child and another man, which is what led to his arrest.

Steiner is no longer doing work for the city-parish.

"Mr. Steiner was not a City-Parish employee but an employee of South Central Planning & Development Commission, a contractor for City-Parish," a statement from East Baton Rouge Parish said. "Mr. Steiner is no longer performing duties for City-Parish and we will ensure that operations continue as normal without interruption."

Steiner's attorney did not return a request for comment.

A complaint was initially filed against Steiner on May 16. After he was arrested Monday, he had his first court appearance Tuesday. Steiner has a hearing planned for May 28.

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