UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - A former Prince George's County substitute teacher and basketball coach, who was arrested earlier this year after being suspected of possession and distribution of child pornography, has been indicted.
Christopher Speights, 34, was arrested in April after police say they received tips about the possible discovery of child pornography in a Dropbox account that belonged to him.
Police say dozens of potential victims were identified, but there may be others that still remain unidentified. Due to Speights involvement with the basketball team, detectives are investigating the possibility that some victims may be outside of the county or outside of the state.
Speights was a substitute teacher at Bradbury Heights Elementary in Prince George's County and a basketball coach with the South County Sports Academy when he was arrested.
"Speights had contact with children through the South County Steelers as a traveling basketball coach,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “He also had contact with children through Bradbury Heights Elementary School. We have come to understand that he invited children to his home and they stayed with him there or during the course of the time when they were traveling with the team. He also had an opportunity to be alone with some of these children and so parents who know of Christopher Speights and know that he had contact with their children, we would like for them to reach out to us.”
In December of last year, police learned about someone using the internet to distribute images and video believed to be child pornography. A search warrant was then obtained and served at Speights' Capitol Heights home where he lived with his mother.
Investigators said they seized Speights' iPhone, iPad and computer that were linked to the Dropbox account. On the cloud storage account, Maryland State Police's Computer Crimes Unit found several child pornography videos. Investigators believe some of the children in those videos were as young as 7 years old.
Speights has been indicted on three counts of possession of child pornography with intent to distribute and six counts of possession of child pornography. Investigators are asking for anyone whose children may have had contact with Speights to call them 1-800-637-5437.
Speights is facing a new charge of sexual abuse of a minor and is facing charges in federal court as well.
Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said new technology has made it much easier for child predators to find their victims.
"Now because of social media, we unfortunately have given a place for many of these predators to have further access to our children,” said Alsobrooks. “We are seeing more than ever that social media is feeding what we know to be an epidemic that by the way is not confined to Prince George's County. Unfortunately what we are seeing is happening all over the state and all over the country.”
Alsobrooks said the biggest problem is that many children have their own cell phones and are using apps such as Snapchat and Kik Messenger to communicate with predators without their parents knowing.
He is set to appear in court on November 13 and remains in custody on a no bond status.