Tuscarawas County coach and referee busted on porn charges - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Tuscarawas County coach and referee busted on porn charges

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Thomas Wright Thomas Wright
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

Sheriff deputies say a local basketball coach and referee was arrested on child porn charges.

Thomas Wright, 32, was arrested on a secret indictment on December 8 at approximately 2:00 am at a residence in Gnadenhutten, OH  and remains in the custody of the Tuscarawas County Jail until his arraignment.

The investigation began in February of 2011 with Bethesda (Ohio) Police Department and the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative out of Belmont County. Investigator Jeremy Campbell initiated the investigation after observing a computer on a Peer-to- Peer program was actively downloading and sharing known child pornography images and videos.

In late June 2011, the IP address associated with the computer hosting and sharing the known child pornography images was identified to be located in Tuscarawas County. A search warrant for the address of 129 Bell Ave Dover, OH (Wright's residence at the time) was executed on July 15, 2011 by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Dover Police Dept.

Wright's laptop was ultimately identified as the computer that was downloading and sharing child pornography images and videos in February, 2011.

During an interview on July 15, 2011 Wright denied any knowledge or association with child pornography images and / or videos.

Wright had previously coached basketball for Riverview Schools, Indian Valley Schools, and AAU basketball teams and at times would referee games. Even after the execution of the search warrant and interview, Wright continued to put himself in the position of coaching and having close contact with juvenile males.

During the forensic exam of the laptop computer of Wright a home made video of a male who was 16 years old at the time (now an adult) was located. The parents of the local male confirmed the identity to be their son. It was learned the video was produced on the cell phone of Thomas Wright and then transferred to his laptop.

Special Agent Jacob Kunicle of the FBI also assisted in the investigative portion of this case. Thomas Wright ultimately confessed to being the person responsible for searching and downloading child pornography images located on the laptop computer as well and the home made video of the local male.

Counts 1- 4 F2 2907.322(A)(2) - with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, did advertise for sale or disseminate, sell, distribute, transport, disseminate, exhibit, or display an material that shows a minor participating or engaging in sexual activity, masturbation, or bestiality.

Count 5- F2 2907.32l(A)(l) - with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, did create, reproduce, or publish any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or observers: to wit: video of known male child victim, age 16 at the time of the offense.

Count 6- F4 2907.321(A)(5) - with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, did buy, procure, possess or control any obscene materials or performance that has a minor as one of its participants to wit: over 300 images or videos of child pornography.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.

 

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