Repeat sex offender sentenced for abusing and producing sexually explicit photos of deaf child

TAMPA, FL – In a press release from the Department of Justice, a 42-year-old previously convicted sex offender had been sentenced on February 18th to 45 years in federal prison for, “producing sexually explicit photographs of a seven-year-old child in his custody,” while having failed to register as a sex offender in the process. 

The convicted sex offender was identified as Adam Hollis of Polk County, who apparently has a history of crimes involving the dissemination of child pornography and sexually abusing children. 

Back in 2000, Hollis was reportedly convicted of, “directing/promoting the sexual performance of a child by distributing child-exploitative images using America Online,” according to the DOJ. 

Hollis was also reportedly convicted in Polk County back in 2014 for sexual battery on a child. 

This latest case, where Hollis reportedly plead guilty to back in November of 2020, stems from his felonious exploits from January of 2013. 

From what the DOJ wrote about the case, Hollis had abused two different victims – one a 7-year-old, deaf child and also an 8-year-old child – and proceeded to produce explicit materials of the 7-year-old and shared them online: 

“Hollis advertised, produced, and distributed sexually explicit images of a deaf, seven-year-old child to whom he had access. Hollis also molested that child, in addition to sexually abusing another eight-year-old child.”

Apparently, Hollis would groom his victims by having them watch pornography with him, as well as threatening the victims that if they ever told anyone about his exploits then their mother would lose custody of them. 

During Hollis’ dissemination of child pornography online, investigators found that he was leveraging these produced materials to trade with other child pornographers online: 

“Hollis advertised, created, and traded these child sex-abuse images using the internet, in part, so that he could add to his personal collection of child exploitation materials, which consisted of more than 250 images and more than 80 videos.”

Adam Hollis - Polk County Sheriff's Office
Adam Hollis – Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Homeland Security Investigations’ Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Micah McCombs had the following to say about the recent sentencing: 

“This criminal deviant committed the most horrible atrocities on young, helpless children. This sentencing ensures this repeat child predator will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.”

The case against Hollis was investigated by both the HSI and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

On top of the 45-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday also added a 20-year term of supervised release following his incarceration.   

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In other recent reports related to sex offenders, police in Philadelphia recently arrested a convicted sex offender after he was caught in the passenger seat of a U-Haul truck that allegedly hosted a dead body inside. 

But that’s not all that police found either. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in February. 

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – A 47-year-old convicted sex offender was recently arrested after police responding to a burglary call happened upon something much more disturbing than stolen goods.

The suspect in question was reportedly not only in possession of a dismembered cadaver – police also allege he’s connected with some discovered deep-fried body parts.

On February 11th, police in the Somerton neighborhood were responding to a suspected burglary and began to pursue a U-Haul truck that had allegedly fled the scene of the reported burglary.

When police had pulled the truck over, the driver of the vehicle apparently got out of the U-Haul and told police that he didn’t, “want anything to do with this…and there’s a body in the back.”

From what police say, the driver of the U-Haul was telling the truth about there being a body in the back of the truck – specifically, it was a dismembered body inside of a trash bag, along with a weapon.

Police wound up taking the driver into custody, as well as the passenger in the U-Haul – later identified as Taray Herring.

The driver of the truck had reportedly informed investigators that he, “was paid to move a body,” and that was the extent of his engagement in the matter.

Authorities eventually wound up letting the driver of the truck go free without charges, but the same can’t be said for Herring.

After detectives interviewed Herring, they eventually searched various dumpsters that were near a strip mall and found some black trash bags containing someone’s hands and feet – which happened to have been deep-fried.

There were also various other human remains discovered among other garbage bags, but police say those weren’t deep-fried.

It’s currently unclear if the human remains discovered are in any way connected to the purported burglary as of this writing.

But there is speculation that the body inside of the U-Haul was Peter Gerold, which Gerold reportedly owns the home that police responded to on February 11th in relation to the burglary call.

Police were said to have executed a search warrant on the home of Gerold, with Philadelphia’s Animal Control & Care Team bringing out over 30 parrots and various other animals from the residence.

Locals in the area haven’t heard from Gerold in some time, but police still haven’t confirmed who the identity is of the human remains discovered.

For the time being, Herring has been charged with burglary, abuse of a corpse, and various other charges. He’s being held without bail and his next court appearance is slated for March 1st.

This is a developing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further details on this ongoing case.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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