Former Uni teacher pleads guilty to having, sharing child pornography | News | #teacher | #children | #kids

URBANA — A former teacher at University Laboratory High School in Urbana faces between five to 20 years in the federal penitentiary after admitting he possessed and distributed child pornography.

Douglas O. Mynatt, 57, who lived in the 100 block of Dropseed Drive in Savoy prior to his April arrest, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana to four counts of an indictment returned in early June.

Three counts alleged that on three days in January he shared child pornography. The fourth count alleged he possessed child pornography in early April.

Mynatt is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mihm in Urbana. He’s been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in the Macon County Jail in Decatur. He is represented by U.S. Assistant Public Defender Elisabeth Pollock.

A husband and father, Mynatt was also a gym teacher at Uni High and served as coach of the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams at the school for more than 20 years.

His trail of pornography was tracked by Dwayne Roelfs, a Champaign County sheriff’s investigator who is trained in finding it on computer devices, including cellphones. Acting on a tip he received March 20, Roelfs discovered that Mynatt used an instant-messaging mobile app on his phone to receive and share pictures of prepubescent girls engaged in lewd sex acts.

The application, Kik Messenger, allows users to register without providing a name or phone number but logs user IP addresses. Roelfs traced transactions to Mynatt’s home IP address and another at the University of Illinois.

According to his plea agreement: “On five different dates/ online sessions between January 9, 2020, … and January 24, 2020, a total of 15 digital files of suspected child pornography were uploaded by the suspect account. Seven of the suspect files were sent from the suspect’s account to other users via, “private chat message.” Eight of the suspect files were sent from the suspect’s account to other users in special “messaging groups.”

Mynatt told Roelfs he had created and used two Kik accounts to receive and share child pornography. One account was shut down by Kik in January after the company advised him it violated their terms of service and “he knew the account had been shut down due to child pornography trafficking.”

Soon after that account was shut down, he created a second Kik account to send and receive child pornography, he told the detective. He kept the images on the photos application of his iPhone.

He also told Roelfs that he had a sexual relationship with two individuals he met while they were his students. He claimed they were over 18 and out of school when the sexual relationship occurred.

Mynatt is subject to hefty fines and will be required to register as a sex offender.

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