Head of Huntsville nonprofit talks with WAAY 31 about child porn possession charges

Madison County authorities arrested Michael Sweeney Wednesday morning.

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 10:09 AM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 7:43 PM

The head of a Huntsville nonprofit was arrested Wednesday morning on several charges of child pornography possession.

Terrence Michael Sweeney, 56, was booked into the Madison County Jail around 8:45 a.m.

Wednesday, Sweeney talked only with WAAY 31 about the his arrest.

He told us he's innocent, and didn't know he was charged with possession of child pornography.

"Everybody that knows us is probably shocked that's what the charges are," he said.

Sweeney was charged with nine counts of possession of child pornography.

"That's not right. From my understanding when they took me out of the house, I was being charged as a convicted felon in the possession of guns," he said.

Sweeney told us he was convicted back in the 1980's for possession of marijuana and didn't realize that meant his wife couldn't have guns.

He told us he is confused by the charges against him.

"I'm innocent. I wouldn't be talking to you if I wasn't innocent. We are going to fight these charges we are going to get a lawyer," Sweeney said.

Sweeney is the co-founder and chairman of Breaking Boundaries Foundation, a nonprofit with a goal of helping people affected by "a life changing event," according to the group's website. Sweeney and his wife started the nonprofit as a disaster relief group after the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak.

He told me he hopes these charges don't change the support they from the community.

"We don't want this to reflect the values of Breaking Boundaries foundation because that's not us. We don't mess with children. I mean we help children, but we don't do this kind of stuff," Sweeney said.

He hopes the community will consider him innocent unless he's proven guilty.

"We are innocent and we do not want this nonprofit to take the hit for it. I'm out on bond. They are saying it may be a year before we go to court. Give me that year. Give us that year to show that. That's all I'm asking the public give us until we go to court," he said.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said they searched a home on Irene Drive around 6 a.m. Wednesday with the Department of Homeland Security and seized electronic devices that had multiple images of child pornography. Authorities said the images do not appear to be of any local children.

Sweeney's was released Wednesday afternoon on a $180,000.

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