Former Teacher and Coach Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland - John Joseph Kovach, Jr., age 52, of Reisterstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receipt of child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department, Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to his plea agreement and court documents, John Kovach was an assistant field hockey coach at Towson University and was a teacher and coach at a private elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland. On February 27, 2009, a California investigator contacted the Baltimore County Police Department concerning an individual who was engaging in sexually explicit conversations over the internet with young girls. As part of their investigation, Baltimore County Police executed search warrants at Kovach’s home and at both of the schools where he worked, seizing computers and other materials related to their investigation. A federal search warrant was issued for the seized computers and forensic analysis of the computers revealed 252 images and 9 videos depicting child pornography. A number of the images of child pornography depicted children under the age of 12 years old engaging in sexually explicit conduct and some of the images also portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct. Forensic analysis was also able to determine that the child pornography was received by Kovach through the Internet.
Kovach faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for March 24, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. 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. Details about Maryland’s program are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.