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Press Release

Former Heritage High School Football Coach Sentenced To Fifteen Years for Attempted Production Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On September 12, 2022, the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sentenced John David Morrow, 51, of Maryville, Tennessee, to 15 years in prison. 

Morrow, a former football coach at Heritage High School, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) and (e).  Following his incarceration, Morrow will be on supervised release for 12 years and will be required to comply with special sex offender conditions.  In addition, Morrow will be required to register with the state sex offender registry in whatever state in which he resides.

As set forth in the plea agreement filed with the court, Morrow used a social media platform to engage in conversations with an individual he believed to be a 12-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover federal agent.  Morrow, despite knowing the victim’s age, repeatedly asked her to take sexually explicit photographs of herself for him to view, and he sent her several photographs of himself, including one displaying his genitalia. 

This prosecution was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.

Members of the public who have questions or concerns related to this case, or any information relating to the sexual exploitation of children, should call 1-800-Call-FBI.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit



Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Office
(865) 545-4167

Updated September 14, 2022

Project Safe Childhood