Accused child molester in custody

The search is over for a man local police had been looking for in connection with the rape and sodomy of two young girls.

Florence police detective Keith Johnson said he has been notified that Joe Henry Jones Jr. has been arrested in Lima, Ohio and will soon be transported back to Florence.

Johnson said authorities had been looking for Jones since warrants were issued for him in September 2006.

Johnson said warrants are for two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sodomy.

Both offenses are Class A felonies, which are punishable by 10 years to life if convicted.

Johnson said Jones, 33, of 910 West Montgomery Ave., Florence, has reportedly been moving from place to place. He said in addition to living at West Montgomery Avenue, Jones has also lived at a residence on Pruitt Street and possibly in other states.

Early last month, Johnson said the department had received information that Jones had been staying from time-to-time in Louisiana and Ohio.

Johnson said he was notified late Friday by law enforcement officers in Ohio that Jones had been picked up as a suspect in a case there.

“As it turned out, he wasn’t involved in that case, but they are holding him on our outstanding warrants,” Johnson said.

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Curtis Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

The Nebraska State Patrol has announced that investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Troop D Headquarters-North Platte have arrested 32-year-old Paul Gray of 316 East 4th Street, Curtis, Nebraska for Producing/Manufacturing Child Pornography. A computer and digital storage media were seized through a search warrant served on Gray’s residence in Curtis.

Gray was taken into custody and lodged in the Frontier County Jail.

On Thursday, November 29, 2007, investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Headquarters Troop-Lincoln also arrested 34-year-old Lamont Hornbeak of 1800 Scott Street, Apt. #101, Beatrice, Nebraska for two counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

The arrest was the result of a peer precision investigation targeting individuals using file sharing technologies to possess and distribute child pornography through the internet. Such investigations target Peer to Peer Networks. These networks are more common to the public as a trading ground for pirated music, movies and software.

Computers and digital storage media was uncovered during a search warrant served on Hornbeak’s apartment. Hornbeak was taken into custody and lodged in the Gage County Jail.

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 7:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-substitute teacher also faces federal child porn charges

A substitute teacher from Bloomington who taught in several Central Illinois school districts was indicted Tuesday on federal child pornography charges.

Scott W. Southerland was charged in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois with one count of receipt of child pornography and a single count of possession of child pornography.

Southerland was arrested last week in southern Indiana and will be transferred to Peoria, according to federal court officials. Southerland, of the 1400 block of South Oak Street, has relatives who live in Indiana.

The 49-year-old teacher also faces child-pornography possession charges in McLean County court. He was arrested in September after his housekeeper told police she found pornographic images of young boys while cleaning his home.

Southerland’s teaching career included a full-time assignment as a fourth-grade teacher at Atlanta Elementary School in 2000 and as a substitute teacher in District 87 and Unit 5; Colfax-based Ridgeview; Farmer City-based Blue Ridge; and Pontiac Elementary.

His name has been removed from a substitute teaching lists since his arrest.

He has pleaded not guilty to the McLean County charges. Convictions on those charges could mean four to 15 years in prison.

Southerland had been free on $2,500 in the local case.

If convicted on the federal charge involving receipt of child pornography, Southerland could face five to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The possession count carries a possible prison term of 10 years and a fine of $250,000.

Bloomington police and the Central Illinois Cybercrime Unit handled the investigation.

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Man charged with child porn possession

Kyle J. Beach, an aide at a local preschool, had the material on his computer at home; he has since resigned his position at STRIDE.

A preschool aide has been charged with possessing child pornography on his home computer and offering to distribute the material.

Kyle J. Beach, 21, resigned from his position at STRIDE Learning Center immediately after his arrest on Nov. 2, said Tiernan McIlwaine, director of STRIDE, a preschool that serves special-needs children.

Beach, of 11902 Empire Drive, faces two counts of sexual exploitation of a child after an agent with the state Division of Criminal Investigation said he traced an Internet address offering to distribute child pornography to Beach’s home. The agent is assigned to a task force that investigates Internet crimes against children.

Beach worked at STRIDE for four years in various roles after serving as an aide on the learning center’s buses prior to his high-school graduation, McIlwaine said.

He described Beach as a “jack of all trades” whose responsibilities included substitute teaching, running errands, installing computer software and performing landscaping work.

Since Beach’s arrest, STRIDE has conducted its own internal investigation on Beach’s work history by interviewing parents and staff members.

“We haven’t had any indication that anything related to his illegal behavior happened here at STRIDE,” McIlwaine said.

Beach’s defense attorney, Gay Woodhouse agreed, saying she wanted it to be known that none of the allegations concern his work at STRIDE.

Beach agreed to have the charges bound over from Laramie County Circuit Court to District Court. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Woodhouse said Beach will plead not guilty to the charges.

“We just want to help him get through it and have the best defense possible,” she said.

Unlike adult pornography, which is readily available online, Laramie County District Attorney Scott Homar explained that it is most common for people to acquire child pornography on the Internet through an e-mail distribution list or a file sharing network.

“Anytime you’re on one of those, you’re sharing whatever is on your file as well,” he said.

STRIDE has been hosting a series of meetings with parents to answer any questions they may have and explain its response to Beach’s arrest. STRIDE is hosting another meeting at noon today at the center at 326 Parsley Blvd.

“We want to make sure we get their questions answered and can assure them that their children are safe here at STRIDE,” McIlwaine said.

Beach is free after posting $20,000 bond. As part of the conditions of his release, he is not allowed to access the Internet or have contact with anyone under age 18.

If convicted, each of the charges carries a maximum sentence of up to 12 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Published in: on December 3, 2007 at 6:44 am  Leave a Comment