Walter Johnson, 69, was arrested in Massachusetts after police found a stash of child pornography on his computer, and the perpetrator admitted that he would routinely trade child porn with other men that he would meet through craigslist.
“Johnson stated that he had met other Craigslist users who sent him sexually explicit images of minors via email, as well as individuals to whom he sent sexually explicit images of minors,” according to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston. “Johnson described child pornography as ’pictures of kids doing sexual things with adults. Johnson told agents he … found the images sexually arousing.”
This case did bring police a little closer to understanding the online rings that run through websites like Craigslist, where people can often exchange disgustingly illegal pictures that they can’t get anywhere else. People take a second to get to know each other before they are willing to send child pornography, but Johnson’s open collaboration with the police has given the department a new insight.
Metro West Daily News reports:
According to the affidavit, federal agents began an investigation into child pornography being traded on Craigslist. They said that Johnson had responded to an advertisement where he and an unnamed man began a sexually explicit conversation about pre-pubescent girls.
Eventually, they exchanged images and videos depicting girls, ranging from infancy to their early teen years having sex with adults.
Investigators served a warrant on Craigslist, which provided Johnson’s email as one of the two men. On Thursday, police went to his home and served a search warrant.
“During the course of his interview, Johnson told agents that his collection of child pornography was located on a thumb drive inside a bedroom door frame,” authorities wrote in the affidavit.
Computer forensic agents conducted a preview of the thumb drive and found numerous images and videos of children taking part in sexual activities.
Johnson is a 1966 graduate of Natick High School, where he starred in football and track. He went on to Harvard University, where he played football and ran track.
He was a track coach for 24 years at Harvard and also taught in the Wayland school system and was a special education teacher at Wellesley High School from 2008 through 2015.
According to a statement from the Wellesley Public Schools, Johnson was an assistant outdoor and indoor track coach and head girls’ cross country coach.
The school department fired him on Thursday.
“Naturally, this is disturbing information for our community and we know there will be many questions. Because this is still an active investigation, we have limited information to share at this time but we will keep the community apprised of new developments,” according to the statement. “Given the seriousness of these charges and the impact of this news, we will be ready to offer our support to students, families and staff in the days ahead.”
At his first appearance in federal court on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Mariaane B. Bowler ordered Johnson held until at least May 1 for a detention and probable cause hearing.