Monday, January 14, 2008

Former White Bear Lake school custodian faces child porn charges

A former custodian at a White Bear Lake middle school has been charged with having numerous sexual images of children on his computer.

If convicted of the felony charge, John George Lockmann Jr. faces up to five years in prison.

Law enforcement officials say they have no reason to believe any of the images were of local children.

Lockmann's attorney, Charlie Clippert, declined to comment.

Lockmann, 59, who worked at White Bear Lake Central Middle School, resigned in August after authorities searched his home computer in Hugo for child pornography.

Washington County prosecutor Jennifer Bovitz said investigators have analyzed more than a thousand images of pornography from computer media seized from Lockmann's home.

In some of the images, the children - both male and female - were nude, according to the complaint. In others, they were engaged in sexual acts with adult males.

At least a dozen are of children registered as victims of child pornography with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Bovitz said.

Investigators are still examining thousands more.

"There are so many images," Bovitz said.

Bovitz said it's likely she will add more counts to the complaint, depending on what police analysts find.

According to the search warrant, Lockmann brought his hard drive to Best Buy in Maplewood in January 2007 for repairs. It was sent to Kentucky, where a technician working on the computer found what appeared to be child pornography and called the FBI.

Lockmann started working in the district in 2003 at White Bear Lake Area High School's south campus. He moved to Central in 2005.

According to the criminal complaint, Lockmann admitted to downloading child pornography, but told police he didn't know it was illegal. He told them he thought it was illegal only to produce or distribute it.

He told one agent that after the search, he unsubscribed to the Internet news groups related to child pornography.

He said he still visited nudist Web pages, and that they sometimes contain images of nude children.

He lives with his mother, he told police, and neither she nor anyone else had used his computer.

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