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Press Release

Steinhatchee Church Deacon Sentenced To 22 Years In Federal Prison For Production Of Child Pornography

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

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA –Jonathan High, 31, of Steinhatchee, Florida, was sentenced to twenty-two years in federal prison after having been found guilty at a bench trial on October 4, 2022, of two counts of use of a child to produce child pornography. Prior to the trial, High pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. The sentence was announced by Jason R. Coody, Unites States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“Child predators seek to prey upon our children in any setting imaginable – in this instance from inside a house of worship,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “As such, we must remain vigilant. This sentence is yet another example of the unwavering commitment to the protection of our most vulnerable and should serve as a significant deterrent to those who would attempt to harm them. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who engage in such heinous conduct.”

In August 2021, law enforcement officers received a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a user of a cloud storage account uploaded files constituting child pornography. An investigation revealed the account was High’s. Law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for High’s cell phones and desktop computer, and after an examination of their contents, confirmed that High was in possession of multiple child pornography images and videos that depicted prepubescent boys engaged in sex acts or exposing their genitals in a lascivious manner.  Further investigation revealed that some of these images and videos were produced by High personally; High produced separate video recordings of two young boys using the restroom in a Perry, Florida church where High served as a deacon.

“This sentence is yet another example of the unwavering dedication and commitment of HSI special agents, who work tirelessly to protect our most vulnerable,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips.  “Our clear-cut message is, HSI will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to bring to justice those who prey upon our children.”

High’s imprisonment prison sentenced will be followed by lifetime supervised release and he will be required to register as a sex offender and will be subject to all sex offender conditions. The Court ordered restitution to provide for counseling to victims in the case and forfeiture of electronic devices used in the commission of the offenses, including two cellular phones and one computer.

 Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Mark Perez said, “Our law enforcement partnerships are critical in helping to identify and stop the abuse and exploitation of our most vulnerable population. These crimes will not be tolerated, and it’s my hope that the guilty verdict will help the victims begin the healing process.”  

This conviction was the result of a joint investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Justin M. Keen and Kaitlin Weiss prosecuted the case. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit



United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida
(850) 216-3845
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Updated February 14, 2023