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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 5/9/2013 

 Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Arrest Lake Gibson High School Teacher, Assistant Football Coach-Defensive Coordinator  

On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Computer Crimes detectives arrested 41-year-old James “Shannon” Arnett, DOB 04/24/1972, 8810 Pine Tree Drive, Lakeland, charging him with two counts of Possession of Child Pornography.  Arnett was booked into the Polk County Jail at 10:00 p.m., held on no bond until first appearance on Thursday, May 9 at 12:30 p.m. 

On May 7, 2013, a Lake Gibson High School student turned a thumb drive in to a PCSO School Resource deputy, telling the deputy he had found a thumb drive in the school’s courtyard and that it had “inappropriate” photos on it.  The student told the deputy that he had a 12-year-old sister, and after looking at some of the pictures on the thumb drive he was “pissed.”

Coincidentally, Arnett had previously told the School Resource deputy that he had lost a thumb drive.  He told the deputy he was worried because the device contained defensive football plays.  He had said he thought he lost the thumb drive in a school bathroom.

The found thumb drive was determined to be that of the one Arnett said was lost.  In addition to images of defensive football plays on the device, there were images of females between 13-17 years of age with the photo focal point being the girl’s breasts and buttocks (these children were wearing clothes and some have been identified as Lake Gibson High School students).  Some photos appear to have been taken in a classroom setting.  Some photos appear to have been taken in a track and field type setting.  There were photos of children posing in a provocative/risqué manner.  Some of the young females were wearing bathing suits with their legs spread with the focal point of the photo being that of their genital area.

There were also two images that have been determined to be child pornography.  One was an image of a female child between the ages of 10-12 years-old performing oral sex on an adult male.  The other image was of a female child between the ages of 9-11 years of age grabbing a male’s exposed erect penis while the two were seated in a vehicle.

A search of Arnett’s work lap-top computer yielded additional photos of young females believed to be that of LGHS students and an image of a male masturbating.

Arnett’s work computer, home computer and personal phone were seized.  The investigation is on-going.