Judith Bogomol described her son as “loving,” “caring,” and “loyal” to his family.
“He’s a good son,” Judith Bogomol told U.S. District Judge Terry Means Thursday during a sentencing hearing for Gregory Bogomol, 39, of Fort Worth.
But federal prosecutor Aisha Saleem told Means that Gregory Bogomol, a former journalism teacher at Denton High School, was a danger to school-age children.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Saleem said Thursday. “In his phone, he had 125 images of boys. He had hundreds of others on Facebook.
“This is an ongoing investigation and who knows when it will end.”
Bogomol pleaded guilty in October to two counts of production of child pornography. Each count carried a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
In a statement read in court Thursday, Bogomol said that he felt shame daily for the “poor decisions and choices” he had made.
Minutes later, Means sentenced Bogomol to the maximum of 60 years.
Bogomol’s attorney, Cody L. Cofer, had argued that some of his client’s troubles stemmed from living in a gay-bashing world.
Means dismissed that argument.
“A gay boy was one of his victims,” Means noted. “Some victims have contemplated suicide.”
Prosecutors said Bogomol used social media applications to contact boys and teenagers. Saleem said Bogomol went from school to school selecting his targets, many of them student athletes.
Saleem read excerpts from statements written by parents. They called Bogomol a “monster” and a “predator.”
“No child should have to be fearful of adults,” one parent wrote. “Truth is that we may never know the damage.”
Several parents were in the courtroom Thursday morning.
Bogomol taught at Denton High for less than five years and resigned shortly before his arrest in May, school officials have said. He worked seasonally for the Star-Telegram sports department but had not been employed at the newspaper since February 2014.
Amanda Johnson, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, testified in May 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.
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 federal complaint, the teenage 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 teen 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 had solicited nude pictures of boys since 2005 and 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. She believed 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.”
This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763