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Thomas County student arrested for possession of child porn

(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 10:47 PM EDT
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By: Alicia Turner

April 11, 2017

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- First an email, and then a phone call.

"Our filtering service notified us of potentially inappropriate content on a student’s computer, and we notified the sheriff’s department," said Dusty Kornegay, Thomas County Schools Superintendent.

That inappropriate email allegedly popping up in an account belonging to 18-year-old John Ferguson, a student at Thomas County Central High School.

"It was kids that look to be under the age of 12 years old performing very graphic acts," said Lt. Tim Watkins of the sheriff’s office.

The school board says each student is given an email address and access to a server. Everything that goes in and out is closely monitored by a separate company. They hope to detect and prevent things like this.

”We have a very secure network, and it’s very possible for people to introduce inappropriate things, but if they're introduced they're going to be found," Kornegay said

Investigators say they found more than a dozen pictures and videos of child pornography in Ferguson’s email and on his phone. Thomas county residents like Jeremiah Hobbs say the entire incident comes as a surprise.

"At a certain age you have to know right from wrong," Hobbs said.

"There is so much instructional opportunity with the instructional device and on the internet itself, but any good thing can be used for an inappropriate cause,” said Kornegay.

Ferguson is out on bond and has already withdrawn from school. If convicted, he could face up to ten years for each count.