Janitor accused of filming students appears in federal court
Jason Goff is suspected of secretly recording students as they changed clothes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A school janitor accused of secretly recording students in the Clay High School locker room does not expect to be set free while his case works its way through the legal system.
Jason Goff, 43, told a judge as much Wednesday when he was arraigned in federal court in downtown Jacksonville on a criminal complaint charging him with attempted production of child pornography.
He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. The trial is tentatively scheduled to begin Nov. 4.
Goff, who has suspended by the Clay County School Board after his arrest, has submitted his resignation, School Board Chair Carol Studdard told News4Jax. She said the board would likely accept his resignation when it convenes for its next meeting.
Goff’s wife had no comment after Wednesday’s hearing.
The charges stem from the discovery of a cellphone that was taped inside a locker in the girls’ gym locker room. According to the complaint, a search of the phone uncovered images and videos of girls changing, along with “selfies” of Goff and text messages from his number.
Some parents were upset that they did not find out about Goff’s arrest until they saw it on the news. Yet Superintendent Addison Davis said there’s a good reason for that – the federal government asked school officials to keep a lid on it while investigators worked the case.
Clay County Schools Police Chief Kenneth Wagner noted that Goff typically worked after hours and was never around children. But, Wagner said, as soon as the district learned something was going on, they took precautions to make sure students were kept safe.
Wagner said the case is being handled in federal court, not the Fourth Circuit, in part because of federal mandatory minimum guidelines. That means a conviction would result in at least a 15-year sentence.
This case is another reminder for parents to talk to their children about having their guards up when something just doesn’t seem right, according to News4Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson.
“Always feel comfortable reporting it to an adult,” Jefferson said.
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