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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 8, 2019

Former Clay County High School Teacher Sentenced To 11 Years In Federal Prison For Distributing Child Sex Abuse Video Over The Internet

Jacksonville, Florida – United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Christopher Shawn Potter (50, Jacksonville) to 11 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography. Potter was also ordered to serve a 20-year term of supervised release, and must pay $3,000 in restitution to a victim of his offense. Potter had pleaded guilty on April 8, 2019.

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

According to court documents, in February 2018, using the screen name “Mr. Fireball,” Potter engaged in online conversations with an undercover officer who was posing as a 14-year-old child. During these conversations, Potter discussed meeting the “child” for sex. Potter sent the “child” a video depicting a young child being sexually abused, and also sent a video of Potter performing a sexual act.  

On September 20, 2018, HSI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Potter’s residence and seized several electronic devices.  During an interview, Potter admitted sending child pornography and stated that he fantasizes about sexual acts with young girls. Potter’s smart phone contained 15 videos and 6 images depicting child pornography, as well as logs of online conversations on social media in which Potter discussed his sexual fantasies involving children.    

“This child predator has worked in positions of trust and authority, so to get him off our streets and out of our local schools has made the community safer for everyone,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “This case is an example of HSI working with our local law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”   

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 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 was 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.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 8, 2019