Former Teacher Charged with Sending Obscene Material to a Minor - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Former Teacher Charged with Sending Obscene Material to a Minor

Posted: Updated:
Joseph Lamar Johnson Joseph Lamar Johnson
Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff's Office Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff's Office

A former Mowat Middle School teacher is facing charges after authorities said the teacher used a popular smart phone application to expose himself to a student.

24-year old Joseph Lamar Johnson is charged with distribution of obscene material to a minor.

"A 15 year old victim indicated that Joseph Johnson who was a former teacher of hers had sent her an inappropriate photograph in an application on the smart phone called SnapChat," said Major Tommy Ford with the Bay County Sheriff's Office

Ford said this is the first case he's seen in the county where a suspect used "SnapChat."

It's a smart phone application that's widely popular with younger users and somewhat unknown by parents.

Some of the parents News 13 spoke with on Friday afternoon outside of Mowat Middle School were unaware of the application. Other parents said they allowed their student to use SnapChat with caution.

The app provides almost instant communication between friends with pictures and video. According to the Google Application Store, more than 10 million people have downloaded the app."

Users can only see a picture or video for up to 10 seconds, and then that picture or video disappears forever.

Ford said another student also saw the picture, and Johnson admitted to sending the photograph through SnapChat.

"That app is designed to appear and go away after a certain designated period of time. We were able to corroborate the information to a level we feel is sufficient to provide the evidence of the wrong doing," said Ford.

The application does allow users to take a screen capture of the picture or video before it disappears.

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A former teacher has been charged with distribution of obscene materials to a minor.

According to the Bay County Sheriff's Office, Johnson was charged with a third-degree felony for sending an inappropriate photograph through the application "Snap-Chat" to a former student.

Johnson was arrested and charged on Wednesday. He had resigned his position as a teacher earlier this month.

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Here is the press release from the Bay County Sheriff's Office:

The Bay County Sheriff's Office announces the arrest of Joseph Lamar Johnson (W/M, DOB/061589) on charges of Distribution of Obscene Material to a Minor, a third-degree felony.  Johnson was employed as a teacher at Mowat Middle School at the time of the incident, and the victim is a former student under the age of 18. 

The victim reported to the Bay County Sheriff's Office that on Saturday, November 2, Johnson sent her an inappropriate photograph through an application called "snap-chat".  The photograph was witnessed by another student.   Johnson admitted to sending the photograph. 

On November 20, Johnson was arrested and booked into the Bay County Jail.

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