Former Preschool Teacher Sentenced to 20 Years for Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A former preschool teacher was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for purchasing sexually explicit images of children, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

Jason Sherod Baldwin, 29, was charged via criminal complaint in July 2020 and indicted less than a month later. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of receipt of child pornography and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle. He was ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons on April 6.

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 a cost for the complete file set. 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 (two videos of minor males), Dec. 8 (a video and more than 100 images), Dec. 18 (two videos), and Jan. 21 (seven videos).

In an interview with law enforcement after he was arrested, Mr. Baldwin admitted that he had 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.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Plano Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau’s Philadelphia Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Dana prosecuted the case.