Alexandria Teacher Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A teacher at John Adams Elementary School, Justin Coleman, 35, of Falls Church, Va., pleaded guilty today to two counts of producing child pornography.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.; Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police; and Earl Cook, Alexandria Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
“Today, Justin Coleman admitted that for years he viewed tens of thousands of sexually explicit videos and photos of children,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Similar to many who are involved in child pornography, this fourth grade teacher went beyond viewing – Mr. Coleman altered thousands of pornographic photos to make it appear that former female students were engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and he also made his own videos of sexual abuse with children. Our office is committed to doing everything we can to safeguard our children from the threat of exploitation and abuse. Identifying adults who abuse positions of trust to engage in this sexually explicit conduct is our highest priority.”
“Child predators have no place in our school systems,” said John P. Torres, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations. “Working with our partners, ICE HSI will continue to identify and arrest individuals who use their positions of public trust to take advantage of the most innocent in our society.”
A fourth grade Dual Language Teacher, Coleman was arrested on April 6, 2011, on receipt of child pornography charges and indicted on June 16, 2011, on six child pornography related charges.
According to the statement of facts, Coleman was among 900 individuals in the United States identified by Italian law enforcement as part of an overseas child pornography investigation. During an interview with U.S. law enforcement, Coleman admitted he had viewed child pornography for years, as often as two or three times a week, and preferred images and videos depicting five- to twelve-year-old girls engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
A forensic analysis of digital evidence in this case revealed that Coleman had created at least two videos in which he caused two female minors – who were unaware at the time – to engage in sexually explicit conduct with Coleman. The analysis also found more than 2,500 images of existing child pornography that had been altered by Coleman to depict former, minor female students to appear to be engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Overall, the analysis found more than 75,000 images of child pornography and child erotica and 1,000 child pornography movies.
Coleman faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum penalty of 30 years for each production charge when he is sentenced on Oct. 28, 2011, before United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.
The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI, Fairfax County Police Department, and the Alexandria Police Department, with assistance from the Northern Virginia/District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Gerald Smagala and Special Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Cain are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
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.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.