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Press Release

Assistant Track Coach Charged with Child Pornography

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

BOSTON – A Wellesley High School assistant track coach, who is also a former Harvard University track coach, was arrested and charged today with distribution and possession of child pornography.


Walter Johnson, 69, of Framingham, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Johnson was detained following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston late this afternoon. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler scheduled a detention and probable cause hearing for May 1, 2017.


According to the charging document, in January 2017, federal agents began an investigation into child pornography being traded by a Craigslist user. The investigation led to Johnson, a track coach at Wellesley High School and a former Harvard University track coach. Earlier this morning, federal agents executed a search warrant at Johnson’s home in Framingham. Johnson allegedly admitted to sending and receiving child pornography with various individuals he met on Craigslist. A preliminary on-scene forensic analysis confirmed child pornography on devices in his home.


Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case should call 617-748-3274.


The charge of distribution of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and no greater than 20 years in prison, five years to life of supervised release and a fine $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The case was investigated by HSI Boston’s Cyber Crimes and Child Exploitation Group, with the assistance of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces from Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the Framingham Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anne Paruti, Weinreb’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit.


The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Updated April 17, 2023

Project Safe Childhood