News and Press Releases

FORMER TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) announced that Jerome Emery Pearson, 43, of Hialeah, Florida, pleaded guilty today in federal district court in Miami to a charge of possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2). Pearson was initially granted bond but was found to have violated the conditions of his release by accessing images of adult pornography on his home computer on September 4, 2011. Pearson has since been detained in federal custody.

Sentencing is currently scheduled before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga for January 12, 2012, at 9:00 am. The defendant faces a possible term of imprisonment of up to ten years followed by a possible term of supervised release for life. The defendant will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to the Criminal Information filed in the case and a Joint Factual Statement submitted to the Court, a search of Pearson’s personal laptop computer revealed more than 1,500 images of child pornography. According to statements made in court during the pre-trial detention hearing, Pearson had been a math teacher with the Broward County School Board. He has since resigned.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice and is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam McMichael.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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