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Former Teacher, Logan Storm, Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Child Pornography and Failing to Appear in Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – Logan Storm, a former teacher at Stoller Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon, will spend eight years in prison for possessing child pornography and failing to appear in court the day after a federal jury convicted him of the child pornography offense in January.  At a sentencing hearing this morning, United States District Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Storm, 37, to 84 months in prison in the child pornography case, and to a consecutive term of 12 months in prison for failing to appear for a detention hearing the day after the jury returned their guilty verdict in the pornography case.  Upon release from prison, Storm will be subject to a 10 year term of supervised release with stringent conditions, including prohibitions on associating with minors, and restrictions on his use of computers.  Storm will also be required to participate in sex offender treatment, and must register as a sex offender.

The investigation began in July 2010 when Storm’s then-girlfriend discovered images of child pornography on his laptop computer and on a thumb drive he had hidden in their bedroom, and reported it to the police.  The Multnomah County Child Abuse Team served a search warrant at Storm’s residence and seized the laptop and two thumb drives from Storm’s bedroom, while Storm’s minor son was sleeping across the hall.  Storm fled the country the following day, without saying good-bye to family or friends.  He drove to Canada then flew to Europe, where he remained for more than six months.

Meanwhile, forensic examinations revealed images of child sexual abuse on the computer and both thumb drives.  Many of the images were interspersed in Power Point presentations with graphic cartoons of child sexual abuse, child erotica, and non-pornographic, classroom photographs of his former students at Stoller Middle School.

Storm was originally charged with a number of offenses in the Multnomah County Circuit Court.  He eventually returned to the United States to face those charges.  The state charges were later dismissed in favor of this federal prosecution.

Storm was convicted in federal court on January 29, 2013, after a five day jury trial.  He was allowed to remain out of custody pending a detention hearing the following morning.  Later that evening, however, Storm cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet and fled once again, failing to appear as required at the detention hearing.  An international manhunt ensued – for the second time.

Approximately six weeks later, Storm was apprehended in Mexico City, Mexico.  He initially denied his identity.  Eventually, however, Storm was deported to the United States and returned to Oregon, where he was detained on a new indictment for failure to appear, and in the child pornography case.  He later pled guilty to the failure to appear charge.  He was sentenced this morning in both cases.

In imposing the sentences, Judge Simon said that while Storm had many positive characteristics and traits, it was “quite clear” that he “does not accept responsibility for his conduct.”  The judge had “no doubt” that the jury reached the “correct factual decision” when it found Storm guilty, yet Storm continues to blame others for his own unlawful conduct.  Judge Simon also discussed the serious nature of the offense: “All child pornography offenses, including possession, are extremely serious because they result in perpetual harm to the victims, and validate and normalize the sexual abuse of children.”  The victims, Judge Simon said, are “victimized over and over and over again” when offenders trade in and possess images of their sexual torture.

Judge Simon commended the U.S. Marshals Service for locating and apprehending Storm after he fled to Mexico:  “The U.S. Marshals Service consists of brave, dedicated, thorough public servants who ensure if someone flees, they will be caught.”  Judge Simon told Storm to think about the extra time he will be serving because he fled.  He also urged Storm to recognize that he has a problem, and to seek treatment for it while incarcerated.

U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall praised the sentence imposed on Storm, noting that it reflected the serious and troubling nature of Storm’s criminal conduct.  “Logan Storm was a middle school teacher when he committed this offense,” she said.  “He intermingled classroom photos of the very children he was entrusted with teaching into slide shows containing images of child sexual abuse and exploitation.”  Storm’s offense was “particularly egregious,” she added, because “he twice fled the country, once shortly after officers served a search warrant at his house, and again only hours after the jury convicted him.”

Marshall praised the collaborative efforts of the local and federal law enforcement agencies responsible for the investigation and prosecution of the child pornography offense, and the efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service and authorities in Mexico in tracking and locating Storm after he fled the country.  “Justice was delayed,” she said, but “ultimately it prevailed.”  She hoped Storm’s sentence “sends a clear message to those who seek gratification in the sexual exploitation of children,” as well as those “who believe they can flee from justice.”

“The children of Oregon are safer with Logan Storm in prison,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees Oregon investigations. “HSI will continue to aggressively target those who prey upon and sexually exploit our children. We owe it to the young victims whose abuse is perpetuated by offenders around the world who collect and trade child pornography.”

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 U.S. Department of Justice and 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.

The investigation involved the cooperation and participation of the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team, the Northwest Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jane Shoemaker and Gary Sussman.

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