Dayton man faces child sexual exploitation charges

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DAYTON — The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 64-year-old man Monday on investigation of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Undersheriff Richard Loyd said the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from a victim that lead to a three-month investigation, resulting in the arrest of Robert E. Bridwell at his home at Country Village in Dayton.

“It’s been an ongoing investigation,” Loyd said. “We haven’t gone through all the evidence yet.”

Loyd said deputies, with the help of a U.S. Forest Service special agent, seized digital photographs that appear to show Bridwell had been taking sexually explicit photographs of a 17-year-old female for a year. Further investigation will be needed to determine if there are other victims.

“All the electronic evidence has to be sent off to the state crime lab,” Loyd said.

Bridwell was arrested on investigation of sexual exploitation of a minor, dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and 70 counts of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct ranging from class C to class B felonies.

He is being housed at the Columbia County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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