22-year-old charged with possessing child porn

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/1/2017 11:25:28 PM

GREENFIELD — A 22-year-old Greenfield man was arrested on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography after police executed a search warrant at his home.

Jameson B. Clevenger of Prospect Street was arrested Monday night after police say he admitted to sending and receiving child pornography through Kik, an anonymous messaging app for smartphones that allows users to chat with strangers. He was arraigned in Greenfield District Court Tuesday.

According to a report by Greenfield Police Detective Todd Clark, Clevenger’s name was sent to the Greenfield Police Department and the State Police Detective Unit in relation to a case that began in Norwalk, Conn. Based on evidence gathered, police were granted a search warrant for digital devices in Clevenger’s home, which was executed Monday afternoon.

Clevenger was subsequently brought to the police station, where he told police he knew what they were looking for and admitted to having illegal images and videos of child nudity on his phone, according to the report. He told police he’d been trading the images on Kik for a year or two, and estimated he’d sent and received about 100 files.

During the interview, Clevenger told police they’re “just fantasies” and he would never act on them, according to the report. Police reported he told them he likes hanging out with younger children.

Clark noted in his report that Clevenger has no criminal history or documented complaints of anything relating to pornography or threats to children.

Clevenger has worked at both the Greenfield YMCA and as a substitute teacher in the Greenfield Public Schools, although the charges are unrelated to his work at those places.

According to YMCA Director Bob Sunderland, Clevenger worked as a part-time gymnastics instructor at the Y on and off since he was in high school. As soon as the Y learned of Clevenger’s arrest, he was barred from entering the facility and his employment was suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, Sunderland said the Y conducts criminal background checks, sex offender registry checks and reference checks on all staff before hiring. The organization also requires all staff to complete training on recognizing and preventing abuse and prohibits staff and volunteers from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others. Staff are prohibited from having contact with children outside of YMCA programs.

“The background, sex offender registry and reference checks we conducted on Mr. Clevenger in January 2014 were clean; he had no previous criminal record,” Sunderland said in the statement. “We have received no complaints about the alleged incident during his employment. In his part-time capacity, he worked with groups under the supervision of other adult Y staff, and he was not permitted to be alone with a child.”

Greenfield Public Schools Superintendent Jordana Harper said Clevenger was an occasional substitute teacher in the school system, but his last date was in September 2016.

“I can’t really comment on his performance,” she said, adding, “We did not see anything of this nature.”

Harper said the school system has an extensive vetting process for teachers and volunteers, including finger printing, CORI background checks and reference checks, and that process was followed for Clevenger. “We really take student safety as our primary consideration,” she said.

Based on investigative materials and Clevenger’s admissions in the interview, he was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash without prejudice following his arraignment. Conditions of his release include no contact with children under 16, no working or living where children under 16 would be present, no internet use and wearing a GPS monitoring device. He is due back in court March 29 for a hearing to see whether the case will be sent to Superior Court.




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