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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 8, 2019

Former Clay County High School Teacher Pleads Guilty To Distributing Child Sex Abuse Video Over The Internet

Jacksonville, Florida – Christopher Shawn Potter (50, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to distributing a video over the internet that depicts a young child being sexually abused. Potter faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, and up to 20 years, in federal prison, and a potential life-term of supervised release. He has been detained since his arrest on September 20, 2018.

Potter worked as a teacher at Clay High School in Green Cove Springs from 2016 - 2017, and was a teacher at Orange Park High School from 1997 - 2004. 

According to court documents, in February 2018, Potter, utilizing the user name “Catsfan1987,” responded to a notice posted online by an undercover officer with the Orange Park Police Department who was posing as a 14-year-old child. Potter engaged in online conversations with the undercover officer during which Potter requested photos of the “child” and discussed meeting the “child” for sex. Potter sent the undercover officer a video clip depicting a young child being sexually abused and a video of Potter performing a sexual act. 

On September 20, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Potter’s home and seized several computer devices and smartphones. During an interview, Potter admitted sending the video and stated that he fantasizes about sexual acts with young girls. One of Potter’s smartphones contained 21 videos depicting child pornography.     

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Orange Park Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Palatka Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Project Safe Childhood
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Updated April 8, 2019