Florida Principal Faces Child Porn Charges After Nude Images Found in Office

Published December 22, 2007

| FoxNews.com

A Lakeland, Florida elementary school principal faces child porn charges after police said they found pictures of a young student’s face superimposed onto nude images in his office.

Click here for more on this story from MyFOXTampaBay.com

According to MyFOXTampaBay, John Stelmack, the principal of Scott Lake Elementary School in Lakeland, developed a reputation for being friendly with the students — too friendly, some parents thought.

"He's very touchy, huggy-feely with the children, as far as hugging them in the morning, saying hello, greeting them," said parent Stacy Williams. "My initial thought, which a lot of parents thought, was that he was just being overly friendly."

Parents complained, and the school suspended Stelmack. As part of a subsequent investigation, deputies say, the school seized the principal's briefcase. Inside were five images of child pornography, which were allegedly created by Stelmack.

According to investigators, Stelmack took photographs of children in normal school settings — one of whom was identified as a 10-year-old student who attended Scott Lake Elementary last year — and digitally superimposed their heads onto nude images.

"The photographs that Stelmack manipulated into child pornography are graphic and repulsive," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "To think that a school principal, someone who is entrusted with the safety and well-being of hundreds of school children, would do something like this is incomprehensible."

Stelmack now faces five counts of possession of child pornography, and was jailed on $100,000 bond. He could face more charges after detectives finish a search of his home.

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