DCF opens investigation charging foster parent with child pornography


    Children in Crisis responds after foster parent arrested for child pornography

    Dieter Bucher went from being a foster parent to an inmate. He’s been charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.

    “Clearly, this is a very serious case and one we will take very serious,” said Assistant State Attorney Jack Schlechter.

    Bucher was a foster parent for Children in Crisis, a nonprofit charity that provided homes for abused, neglected, and abandoned children in the community.

    On Friday, Bucher made his first appearance in Okaloosa County Court. The State Attorney's Office says he's held without bond for a mental health evaluation.

    “Pretrial services will conduct the evaluation and once that's completed, they will get back with the judge,” Schlechter said.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at Bucher’s home in a Fort Walton Beach retirement community.

    On Thursday, WEAR obtained the FDLE arrest affidavit.

    According to the report, investigators gained access to Bucher’s computer and found four videos of children between the ages of 5 to 12 having sex with adults.

    “At this point, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to continue their investigation. They've seized some evidence and they have to conduct the forensic evaluation of that and then we'll see where it goes from there,” Schlechter explained.

    WEAR asked Children in Crisis how Bucher fell through the cracks. The nonprofit sent us a statement reading in part:

    With heavy hearts, Children In Crisis responds to the unfortunate incident of a CIC employee charged with on-line child pornography. The most important thing is that the CIC children were not the subject or involved. Dieter Bucher was arrested by the FDLE on Thursday, March 7, 2019 after the allegation of the inappropriate conduct. Immediately upon discovering the situation, CIC took all appropriate steps and is assisting the investigators fully. This is a shock to CIC because all employees are submitted to extensive FDLE/FBI finger print, background checks and character references. All were in order with no indicators of any issues with Bucher in the past. We need continued community support and prayers to help us get through this very difficult time. We have worked so hard for so many years to help hundreds of foster children and we hope you will continue to be our ambassadors for the children.

    DCF released this statement regarding Bucher's arrest:

    We are disgusted by the alleged actions of this individual who was trusted to care for vulnerable children in the community. DCF has opened an investigation and will continue to work closely with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as they conduct their criminal investigation. DCF is supporting the children and other foster parents on the campus. There are no children remaining in this foster home and the license has been revoked.

    If convicted as charged, the State Attorney’s Office said Bucher faces up to 20 years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender.

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