According to the Polk County, Florida Sheriff’s Office, John Stelmack was arrested after an investigation which revealed that he had allegedly created and was in possession of child pornography. Stelmack is the principal of Scott Lake Elementary School in Lakeland, Florida. He was suspended from his job by the Polk County School Board a week before his arrest, for an administrative investigation. In the course of the investigation, representatives of the school board found five images of child pornography in a briefcase seized from Stelmack’s office. School board representatives then contacted the Polk county Sheriff’s Office with their findings.
Stelmack allegedly often took pictures of his students at school and then used a computer to digitally superimpose their faces onto the bodies of nude children. At least one of the children, featured in four of the images, was positively identified as a ten year old female student at the school. Another female featured in the other photos has not been identified. A search of Stelmack’s home has yielded another ten to twenty digital images which may be considered child pornography.
Stelmack is fifty three years old and is married with two adult children. He has been charged with five counts of possession of child pornography and is being held with a $100,000 bond. To think that someone who has been entrusted with the safety of hundreds of children would do something like this is incomprehensible.
Of course, Mr. Stelmack has the right to representation from a criminal defense attorney or public defender for these charges. He may argue that the photos were not created by him or were otherwise unknown to him. If a plea deal is not secured, evidence will need to be presented at trial to prove up the charges. Forensic evidence should be yielded by examining the computer, digital camera, fingerprints,and other items.
Find out more about the arrest of school principal John Stelmack on child pornography charges at Principal out of jail after child porn arrest.
If your child has been the victim of a sexual predator, please contact our firm for expert legal counsel.