Steinhatchee Church Deacon Convicted Of Production Of Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA –Jonathan High, 30, of Steinhatchee, Florida, has been convicted of two counts of use of a child to produce child pornography. The guilty verdict, returned yesterday, at the conclusion of a one-day bench trial, was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Prior to the trial, High pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. 

In August 2021, law enforcement officers received a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a user of a cloud storage account uploaded files constituting child pornography. An investigation revealed the account belonged to High. Law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for High’s cell phones and desktop computer, and after an examination of their contents, confirmed that High was in possession of multiple child pornography images and videos that depicted prepubescent boys engaged in sex acts or exposing their genitals in a lascivious manner.  Further investigation revealed that some of these images and videos were produced by High personally; High produced separate video recordings of two young boys using the bathroom in a Perry, Florida church where High served as a deacon.

High’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 9, 2023, at 1:30 p.m., at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee before United States District Judge Allen Winsor. High faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a combined maximum of 70 years in prison for all three counts.

This conviction was the result of a joint investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Justin M. Keen and Kaitlin Weiss prosecuted the case. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.