TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man who served as a church deacon will be spending 22 years behind bars after he was sentenced Tuesday for producing child pornography in a church bathroom.
In August 2021, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified law enforcement of a cloud storage account that had uploaded child pornography to its system.
Investigators learned that the account belonged to Jonathan High, 31, of Steinhatchee. After searching High’s cellphone and desktop computer, it was confirmed that High had several images and video of child pornography involving pre-pubescent boys.
Some of the images and videos that investigators found were made by High himself. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, High had recordings of two small boys using the bathroom at a church in Perry, Florida, where he served as a deacon.
“Child predators seek to prey upon our children in any setting imaginable – in this instance from inside a house of worship,” said Jason R. Coody, Unites States attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
On Oct. 4, 2022, High was found guilty on two counts of use of a child to produce child pornography. Before his trial, he also pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography possession.
His 22-year prison sentence will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, and he will be required to register as a sex offender.
“These crimes will not be tolerated, and it’s my hope that the guilty verdict will help the victims begin the healing process,” said Mark Perez, Florida Department of Law Enforcement special agent in charge.