Shawnee Mission teachers help identify porn victims - KCTV5

Police: Teachers help identify paramedic's child porn victims

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Sharp-eyed teachers and a water bottle helped authorities locate victims of child pornography, federal prosecutors said.

Michael D. Arnett, 38, faces two felony counts related to the production and possession of child pornography.

Arnett has worked as a paramedic in Leavenworth County since 2001. He was considered a dedicated and hard-working employee. Neighbors said they are stunned by the sickening allegations.

He was taken into police custody earlier this week.

Family members of the alleged victims contacted KCTV5 on Thursday afternoon to defend Arnett. They said he is being railroaded and is a fun, loving man who would not prey on children.

The investigation into Arnett began on April 25 when federal agents in Boston contacted Kansas City agents. This occurred because Boston agents seized a hard drive containing child porn, according to federal court documents.

A folder contained 130 images of child pornography in a file called, "Sweet_Tod-Joshy." Three boys were shown.

Some of the pictures showed a Midwest Aquatics water bottle. The swim and scuba center is located in Overland Park. The photos were taken between 2005 and 2007, according to court documents.

Teachers at Rushton Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District identified two of the boys, who are now 17 and 14 years old.

The 17-year-old boy reviewed "a few sanitized images," and told investigators that he was around 11 years old when the photos were taken. He said the second boy was 8 years old and the third boy, who is a family member, was 2 years old.

Arnett lived with his mother and a 14-year-old boy in Roeland Park.

The suspect refused to cooperate with investigators when asked about the child pornography, according to court documents.

Computers, cameras and other electronic devices were seized. Numerous child pornography images were seized.

According to court documents, the photographs displayed young boys with their private parts exposed. The boys were toddlers with clothes wrapped around their heads and their mouths gagged. One of the boys, who was 1 to 2 years old, was in a roasting plan displayed in an open oven, according to court documents.

Another child was in a roasting pan on the floor. Other sexually explicit photos of young boys were taken throughout Arnett's home, according to court documents.

Arnett has been placed on administrative leave from his job as a paramedic.

The mother of the 14-year-old boy said she does not believe the allegations. She and other relatives said Arnett is a photographer who took numerous pictures. They said the roasting pan pictures were meant to be funny.

"Mike never ever did anything to them," a family member said about the children. 

However, the relatives did acknowledge they have not seen the actual photographs in question. They said federal investigators have not been forthcoming with them and failed to keep the informed about essential details of the investigation.

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