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Monday, September 20, 2021

Marion County Fire Rescue firefighter arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material

A former Marion County Fire Rescue firefighter was arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material after he was found with multiple, sexually explicit images of children as young as four years old. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested 52-year-old Neal Balwinski on Friday, August 20. Balwinski, who is from Tavares, faces five counts of transmission of child sexual abuse material. 

Marion County Fire Rescue firefighter arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material
Neal Balwinski

The investigation began in April when the organization received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding an internet user sharing child sexual abuse material, according to a press release from the FDLE.

A search warrant led to the discovery of multiple images of child sexual abuse material, some featuring children as young as four years old, on electronic devices seized from Balwinski’s residence. 

Agents discovered that Balwinski had accessed the material from his home internet, his cell phone, and his employer’s internet.

At the time, Balwinski worked as a Marion County Fire Rescue firefighter and paramedic. 

Balwinski was booked into the Lake County Jail on no bond. Additional charges are dependent upon completion of forensics exams. This case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office, 5th Judicial Circuit.