Former Preschool Teacher Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography
A former preschool teacher pleaded guilty today to purchasing sexually explicit images of children, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Jason Sherod Baldwin, 29, was charged via criminal complaint in July 2020 and indicted less than a month later. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of receipt of child pornography.
In plea papers, Mr. Baldwin, a former teacher at Dallas’ Hockaday School, admitted that he used Kik, an encrypted messaging app popular among teenagers, to purchase links to child pornography from another Kik user. In chats, Mr. Baldwin requested “mainly preteen boy-on-boy vid[eo]s.”
According to court documents, the investigation into Mr. Baldwin began after FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at the home of a convicted sex offender in Philadelphia. A search of the offender’s phone revealed that he routinely used Kik to solicit payment for links child pornography. One of the accounts with which the offender communicated traced back to Mr. Baldwin.
On Oct. 29, Mr. Baldwin messaged the sex offender about purchasing child pornography. The offender shared a link to a “preview” folder and indicated the complete file set would cost $27. Mr. Baldwin sent the money through PayPal and received links to the files a few minutes later.
The investigation showed that Mr. Baldwin purchased child pornography from the offender several times over the ensuing months, on Nov. 11 ($13 for two videos of minor males), Dec. 8 ($10 for a video and more than 100 images), Dec. 18 ($12 for two videos), and Jan. 21 ($31 for seven videos).
In an interview with law enforcement after he was arrested, Mr. Baldwin admitted that he’d used Kik to purchase sexually explicit images of children. He said he had hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos of children stored on his cell phones, and that he had been viewing child porn for approximately eight years.
He now faces between five and 20 years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau’s Philadelphia Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana prosecuted the case.