YMCA gym monitor arrested on child porn charges

Published On: Sep 25 2013 11:09:33 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 25 2013 08:00:37 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 57-year-old Fleming Island man and YMCA employee has been charged by a federal criminal complaint with receiving child pornography over the Internet.

If convicted, Jimmy Holmes faces five to 20 years in prison.

Holmes was arrested Tuesday at his Fleming Island home and later made his first appearance in court. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint, on Tuesday, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Clay County Sheriff's Office executed a federal search warrant at Holmes' home. Holmes was at the home and was interviewed by agents.

He indicated, among other things, that he works at the Barco-Newton YMCA in Fleming Island, where he teaches sports to children ages 6 to 12 and is a gym monitor. Holmes admitted using a file-sharing program to download child pornography and share it with other computer users, and further stated that child pornography would be found on his external hard drives, investigators said.

An onsite examination of one of Holmes' external hard drives revealed that it contained child pornography, investigators said. Holmes was subsequently arrested.

Holmes, a part-time employee of the YMCA, was suspended indefinitely.

"Although we are not aware of any inappropriate behavior involving children at the YMCA, we have and will continue to cooperate with the authorities in their investigation," the YMCA said in a statement. "Our employment records show Mr. Holmes was a gym monitor who occasionally officiated games since his hire in 2005. Because safety is our primary concern at the Y, it is our policy to complete thorough background screenings on all YMCA staff and volunteers. For all screenings completed on Mr. Holmes prior to and during his employment with the Y, there was never any indication of suspicious or criminal activity."

In addition to part-time work at the YMCA, Holmes worked from home using an Internet service.

"It's very disturbing because I just found out about this," neighbor Brian Burley said. "You never think it's your neighbor. He's a pretty nice guy. I don't know him that well, but you talk to him in the street, in the yard. But of course, you never know who you live next to."

"It's scary. We have so many kids around here," neighbor Pam Walker said.

Tracey Friese attends the YMCA in Fleming four days a week. The mother of two says she's disappointed about the allegations, but it's not going to stop her from going there.

"I am pretty surprised, but then again anything is possible in this day and age," the mother of two said. "So you just have to be really vigilant. Just because people are at a trusted place at the YMCA doesn't mean people are good."