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Child Exploitation

Former Dallas high school teacher pleads guilty to 4-count federal indictment for receiving and possessing child pornography

DALLAS - A recent English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas pleaded guilty on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez to an indictment charging three counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jon Leslie Lyons, 44, was arrested in June 2010 on a related charge outlined in a criminal complaint; he has been in custody since that time. According to the affidavit filed with that complaint, in May 2010, a Dallas Independent School District (DISD) employee notified ICE that they had discovered possible child pornography on a DISD computer assigned to Lyons.

Soon thereafter, an ICE special agent met with the DISD employee who made the referral and viewed images of prepubescent females posing in lewd and lascivious manners that had been recently forensically recovered from Lyon's work computer. Several ICE special agents then met Lyons at his Dallas apartment near the school and conducted a consensual interview. During that interview Lyons said that he had images of 13- to16-year-old nude teens, as well as images of prepubescent females, engaged in sexually explicit conduct on his home desktop computer and Apple iPhone. He also stated that he had downloaded child pornography from the Internet to his iPhone the previous day.

Lyons faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than five nor more than 70 years in prison, a $1 million fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade on Dec. 22.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa J. Miller, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.