School Board President Caught Sharing Child Porn

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent David M. Alley, according to court documents, accused a school board president of a Michigan charter school of sharing “child pornography” on darknet sites. In addition to sharing them, the agent wrote that the school president had also downloaded child pornography to his cell phones and computers. 

In a federal court in Michigan, Jesse V. Medina, 36, was charged with one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Not only did a secretive federal investigation identify Medina as a habitual downloader of the illegal content, Medina repeatedly admitted that he had used “the darknet” to download child abuse content. He also admitted sharing self-described “fantasies” with other pedophiles contacted through Craigslist.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) identified Medina in a recent operation aimed at catching child pornography downloaders and distributors. Many of the suspects allegedly used the same darknet forum. The operation has been kept quiet and the arrests have been only vaguely detailed in announcements. Officials have sealed many of the court documents on the grounds that the unsealing of the documents would compromise an ongoing investigation.

The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University—the university connected to the Saginaw charter school—learned of Medina’s crimes in April 2018. The director of communications, Janelle Brzezinski, said that the board immediately suspended him from any involvement as a board member. “That prohibits him from taking any action as a board member,” she said.

In the affidavit, Special Agent David M. Alley wrote that, during the execution of a search warrant at Medina’s home, Medina admitted he accessed child pornography “at least once a month.” Medina also admitted he had written messages to others that detailed his plan to kidnap or gain access to a five-year-old to abuse. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis said that Medina had admitted this in writing and orally.

Because of his writing and descriptive accounts of prior child abuse and future plans to abuse children, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Abraham argued that Medina needed to be in jail until the trial. “It’s clear from the defendant’s own statements that the urges he has to prey upon [children], to molest individuals, and use images of very young children, as young as infants, to satisfy his own sexual gratification, those urges cannot be controlled,” the Assistant U.S. Attorney said. She acknowledged that the court had no evidence that indicated Medina had abused children or created child pornography.

His defense attorney, Christopher J. McGrath, argued that since the case involved no child abuse, Medina should be free until the trial. The court disagreed. Medina is currently in the Clare County Jail and will remain there until the trial and—if sentenced to prison—many months after the trial while he waits for a bed at a federal prison, and probably an unfriendly roommate too. Of all crimes committed, child porn and other child endangerments crimes are frowned upon by many if not most convicts in prison.