Former Maryland substitute teacher indicted on federal child porn charges

A former Prince George’s County substitute teacher and basketball coach accused of sharing child pornography through a Dropbox account has been indicted on additional related charges by a federal grand jury.

Christopher H. Speights, 34, has been charged with two counts of production and one count of the attempted production of child pornography after a jury returned an indictment against him in U.S. District Court in Maryland, according to federal court records.

He entered a plea of not guilty at his initial appearance before a judge on Aug. 22.

Speights is accused of victimizing four minors to produce and transmit child pornography, the July 27 indictment says.

Police said they’re still investigating whether the images depicted children whom Speights worked with at the school or through his coaching.

“This investigation is active and ongoing,” said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for Maryland State Police. “We are working with federal officials and the county state’s attorney’s office.”

Speights also faces prosecution in Prince George’s County, where he was arrested in April on charges of producing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Police in April seized several electronic devices from Speights’s home in Capitol Heights and found images of children performing sexually explicit acts, according to charges filed by Maryland State Police. Investigators found at least 153 files containing graphic images, and Speights admitted to uploading child pornography to a Dropbox account, charging papers state.

Maryland State Police said they were asked to look into the case in December after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted authorities to concerns from Dropbox regarding suspected possession of illegal content, according to the charging papers.

Speights, who worked for Prince George’s County Public Schools for nine years, was a substitute teacher and coach at Bradbury Heights Elementary School, police said. He also was a basketball coach for South County Sports Academy.

Speights’s plea of not guilty was entered in federal court the day after a judge in the same courthouse sentenced Deonte Carraway to 75 years in prison on child pornography charges involving a dozen children. Carraway was a former volunteer and teachers’ aide at Judge Sylvania W. Woods Elementary School in Prince George’s County and the director of a local choir.

After Speights’s arrest in April, the school system said he was no longer employed with the county, and the district has been working to improve student safety.

“We stand ready to cooperate as needed, but we have received no further information from law enforcement and no confirmation of whether any PGCPS students were involved,” said John White, a spokesman for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Federal court records show that Speights is being represented by the federal public defender’s office, which has a policy of not commenting on open cases. Speights’s public defender for the local case in Prince George’s County declined to comment.

via Washington PostVPGmap

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