Whitesburg KY
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Teacher suspected in child porn case ordered released from jail

A former teacher arrested on child pornography charges has been ordered released from jail and placed on home incarceration after a motion asking for release because of COVID-19.

Letcher Circuit Judge James W. Craft II modified the bond for Dalton Matthew Bates on September 4, after hearing arguments on the case two days before.

Under that order, Bates was released on a $25,000 cash or property bond and placed on home incarceration with electronic monitoring. He is to have no contact or communication with minors, and no access to the Internet, computers or smart phones.

Bates, 23, was band director at the L.F. Addington Middle School and Central High School in Wise County, Va. He was arrested February 12 at his home in Wright’s Trailer Court at Neon. He was charged with 20 child pornography charges after Kentucky State Police say he sought out explicit pictures of children on social media sites.

According to court documents, Kentucky State Police began the investigation after receiving a complaint October 14, 2019, reported from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The report was submitted by Omegle, an Internet chat site that connects users to random strangers.The report, which outlined conversations online on August 25, said there had been messages on Omegle from someone discussing trading “young nudes.”

Omegle captured the IP address of the computer used, and authorities cross-referenced that IP address to an additional Cybertip from SnapChat. The SnapChat incident occurred on August 7, 2019. Twenty-five files were uploaded on that date, court documents say, and when police reviewed those files, they found child sexual exploitation material. A detective then obtained search warrants for Omegle and Snapchat, and for the IP user.

When KSP received the material from Omegle, the documents say, it contained messages related to sharing child pornography, and when the SnapChat return arrived it also contained references that appeared to show child pornography was being traded or shared.That return, received by Kentucky State Police on November 22, included the June 28 message showing that “James Holbrook,” the alias police say Bates used online, had been hired by a middle school.

“I just got a job teaching middle school so I’m gonna be trying to resist temptation,” police say Dalton Matthew Bates wrote.

That message was followed by one even more chilling for parents and police.

“Hopefully I can get pics of students through my fake account and I’ll send u,” the second message reads.

It was not clear with whom Bates was communicating.

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