Former Youth Home counselor convicted of child pornography

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 30, 2002

A former counselor at the Alabama Youth Home in Harpersville has plead guilty to child pornography charges.

John C. Mitchell, 35, plead guilty to one count of production of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography and 10 counts of receipt of child pornography in federal court in Birmingham, according to U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin.

Martin said Mitchell, 35, of Hoover had a long history of working in various facilities and organizations with access to children in Shelby County.

Mitchell had worked as a bus driver for Shelby County Schools and had attempted to become a reserve deputy for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Martin said.

U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. set

sentencing for Mitchell for July 24.

He faces a sentence of not less than 10 years nor more than 20 on the production of child pornography count; not more than five years on the possession of child pornography count; and a maximum sentence of 15 years on each of the 10 receipt counts.

According to Martin, this case was investigated by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Innocent Images Task Force, which is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the sheriff’s department, the Birmingham Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Atty. James E. Phillips