A former Denton High School journalism teacher pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal child pornography charges involving the use of social media applications to contact young males.
Gregory Bogomol, 38, of Fort Worth, made his plea Wednesday morning before U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey Cureton on two counts of production of child pornography. Each count carries a maximum of 30 years and a lifetime of supervised release.
Bogomol resigned from Denton High School, where he had taught for more than 10 years, shortly before his arrest in May. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 12.
Amanda Johnson, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, testified in a May hearing that she was informed by a counterpart in Lake Charles, La., that the parents of a 15-year-old boy reported that their son was solicited for nude photos by a person using the name “Crystal Williams” via the KIK Messenger smartphone app.
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During an interview with agents at his house on May 6, “Bogomol said he had been using the online female persona to solicit nude pictures of boys,” Johnson testified.
According to the complaint, the boy said Crystal Williams sent him “nude images of a young female through the KIK application and requested nude images of [the boy] in return.”
The boy sent one image, which was met with a request for another, according to the complaint. The youth got suspicious and told his parents, who contacted federal authorities.
“After he declined, the female threatened to send his nude pictures to all of his friends,” Johnson said.
“The child said he feared that his pictures would be exposed on the Internet. He became afraid to go out and afraid to play sports.”
Agents traced Crystal Williams’ phone activity to an account owned by Bogomol, according to the complaint.
Bogomol told investigators that he has solicited nude pictures of boys since 2005 and that there had been complaints from other students at other schools, according to Johnson.
Bogomol also said he might have used threats to get some of those pictures, Johnson said.
Johnson testified that Bogomol disappeared for a time while she and another investigator were questioning him on May 6. She believes Bogomol deleted the KIK application from his cellphone while he was out of her sight. But agents found another application called Grindr on Bogomol’s cellphone.
“He saw what I was looking at on Grindr,” Johnson said. “I saw numerous pictures of young males in various stages of undress.”
Bogomol previously worked seasonally for the Star-Telegram in the sports department, but has not been employed at the newspaper since February.
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.