Fitzgerald was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in November 2020. The investigation revealed that Fitzgerald possessed more than 700 pictures and videos of children, as young as infants, being sexually abused by adults or sexually exploited. The child pornography was located on Fitzgerald’s cell phone in multiple encrypted apps; including one app that was disguised as a calculator. Law enforcement also located a selfie of Fitzgerald, with his genitals exposed, while standing in his classroom. A forensic analysis of his cell phone revealed that Fitzgerald routinely viewed child pornography while going about his daily life, including while teaching, ministering to the youth, coaching and attending field trips.
State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Monica Smith and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and his Computer Crimes Unit in ensuring that this sex offender was sentenced to a long-term prison sentence and protecting the youth of our community.