Feds: Jacksonville teacher sent porn involving child as young as 8

Algebra teacher's wife IDs photo of his genitals during FBI raid, agents say

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist, Erik Avanier - Reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A First Coast High School teacher is accused of sharing sexually explicit images of a child as young as 8 years old on a messaging app, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

Jeremy Scott Clark, a 44-year-old algebra teacher at First Coast High, is charged with distributing child pornography through the Kik app.

NOTE: The rest of this article contains details some might consider disturbing.

FBI agents raided Clark's home in the Palm Valley area Thursday morning, showing his wife an image of a man's genitals, which was posted using an account that also shared sexually explicit images of young girls, according to the complaint. 

Agents said Clark's wife quickly acknowledged the photo was of Clark's penis and said he was lying on their bed with a kitchen towel and old comforter she recognized in the photograph.

Agents executing a search warrant at Clark's home found the towel and comforter from the photograph, according to the complaint.

That search warrant indicates that an undercover agent communicated Feb. 22 on Kik with a user, called LLCoolJack1973, who said he was interested in incest with children ages 8-12. According to agents, the user, later identified as Clark, sent the photo of the penis that was shown to Clark's wife, along with a Dropbox link that had numerous images of young girls engaged in sexual conduct. The user also claimed to be a school teacher who had molested a student.

Based on the confirmation from Clark's wife and the items found in the home that matched those in the penis photo, agents said they had probable cause to believe Clark was the one communicating with the undercover agent and charged him with distributing child porn.

During the raid, the FBI seized multiple computers, cellphones and electronic storage devices -- anything that might show more evidence of child porn. 

Clark, who has three children, was taken into custody on a "temporary detention" order because the charge is considered a crime of violence.

According to the complaint, Clark served in the Navy for less than two years before he was less than honorably discharged for underage drinking.

One of Clark's students, who asked not to be identified, told News4Jax she was shocked.

"That's so crazy. I don't even know what to say. I'm speechless,” the student said. “That's so disgusting. It's honestly disgusting. It's really disappointing adults in our society are doing that." 

That student's parent was also in disbelief.

"That's her algebra teacher. She's an honor roll student," he said. "It's sad."

Linwood Powell, a freshman at First Coast High, said the news "just goes to show you never know who is around you."

"To be honest, he was just a normal teacher, friends with a lot of the students," Powell said. "You don't really know. It's quite shocking to me."

First Coast High School Principal Timothy Simmons sent a robocall Thursday afternoon to parents, notifying them that a teacher had been taken into federal custody. Simmons later sent the following update to update parents:

"Earlier today, one of our teachers, Mr. Jeremy Clark, was taken into custody by the FBI on multiple charges related to Child Pornography. Information about the charges he is facing was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the middle district of Florida. He remains in federal custody. Should he be released from custody, the Duval County School District's professional standards department will initiate an internal review and the teacher will be removed from the classroom and not have further contact with students pending the outcome of the investigation.

"In the meantime, we are grateful to law enforcement for their partnership, and we will continue to cooperate fully. We encourage anyone with information or questions regarding the investigation to contact FBI Jacksonville directly at 904-248-7000.

"As always, you can call my office at 904-757-0080 if you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss this further. Please know that our greatest priority will always be the well-being of your students and maintaining a safe and effective learning environment. Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be of further assistance. Thank you and have a good evening."

Clark will be in court again at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, up to 20 years, in federal prison, and a potential lifetime of supervision.

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