ALBEMARLE — On June 23, Jacobi Lamar Bailey, of Columbia, South Carolina, was arrested on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography after an investigation by the Albemarle Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations. Bailey, a student at Pfeiffer University, was subsequently released on a $75,000 bond.
A press release from the APD indicated Bailey had been arrested close to an area school, but says, “the initial investigation indicates that no students or local residents were victims.” Despite this, the APD says they’ve “worked closely with school administrators to ensure a full and open flow of information and have taken additional steps to continue to provide for the safety of staff, students and parents.”
The release also states that Bailey was an off-campus student at Pfeiffer, but adds, “At this point in the investigation there is no evidence that ties Mr. Bailey’s actions to any systems, operations, students or staff at the University. Pfeiffer University has fully cooperated with this investigation and continues to be a valuable partner to the Albemarle Police Department.”
Stanly County Journal spoke with Sgt. Bryan Springer of the APD, who is authorized to speak to media on the case, and asked whether Bailey’s role was limited to the possession and distribution of the images or if he also was involved in producing them.
“That’s just the charge right now [possession and distribution]; it’s still under investigation,” Springer said.
Springer did say that there was no indication at the moment that Bailey was part of a wider operation. In terms of whether the victims were young children or adolescents, Springer would only say of the current charges, “It’s just all under child pornography.”
He confirmed that Bailey has been released under the $75,000 bail he was given but said he was due in court Monday, June 28. The case, Springer said, was going from district court to superior court, so the new judge may decide to take him back into custody.
When the APD posted details of the arrest on their social media, area residents largely responded in anger that courts gave Bailey the opportunity to be released on bond, considering the seriousness of the charges.
“$75k? Are yall serious?” one said.
“When will the magistrates learn to set an appropriate bail amount?” another said.
“Absolutely disgusting and even more pathetic that he was given bail and released. So disappointed.” said another.
“And he was already released? What a joke!! What is the judicial system anymore?” said another.