Former Muskegon man accused of making child porn

Muskegon County
James Russell 040919_1554854669685.jpg.jpg

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man faces federal child pornography charges after authorities found inappropriate images online that they say he took in the Muskegon area.

In a criminal complaint filed in federal court late last month, the FBI accused James Russell of creation, possession, transportation and distribution of child porn.

The court documents allege Russell took dozens of nude photos of a boy at his home in Norton Shores between 2009 and 2012. The person seen in the photos, now an adult, told an FBI agent that Russell sexually abused him for years and took thousands of photos of him naked.

Russell was arrested in metro Las Vegas in early March after the FBI got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the images, which had been uploaded to the photo website Flickr in September of last year.

When Nevada FBI agents questioned Russell, he admitted to having recently digitized some old photos and posting them online. He denied knowing about photos showing a naked child, but said he did know the boy in the photos.

The court documents say Russell had been working as a teacher at an elementary school in Clark County, Nevada. He has since been placed on administrative leave.

The criminal complaint says Russell has worked as a teacher and principal at other schools, though it doesn’t list where. It also says that at various times, Russell has been a guardian, babysitter, coach, lifeguard, camp counselor and in youth ministry at churches.

The FBI also noted a personal protection order against Russell involving a 10-year-old boy and two Children’s Protective Services complaints from 2009 and 2018 involving a 10-year-old boy and a 6-year-old boy.

Russell was charged at the state level in Nevada, but the FBI says those charges are expected to be dropped in favor of federal prosecution.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

24 Hour News 8 Links