A Florida man and high school janitor was arrested and charged with a massive number of child pornography offenses earlier this week.
Jonathan Dibble, 32, is currently charged with exactly 100 counts of possessing 10 or more child pornography images, Martin County court records reviewed by Law&Crime show. Each of the offenses qualifies as a felony of the second degree in the Sunshine State.
The Jensen Beach High School janitor was arrested on Valentine’s Day when the Martin County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at his home in Jensen Beach, Florida, according to a press release. The sheriff’s office alleged “hundreds of disturbing still and video images of children as young as infants” were found in Dibble’s possession.
“They’ve recovered over 100 child pornographic photos that depict children from the age of infant to 12 years old,” Martin County Chief Deputy John Budensiek said in comments reported by Tequesta, Florida-based ABC affiliate WPBF, which serves the West Palm Beach area. Jensen Beach is part of the Port Saint Lucie metropolitan area and is located roughly an hour north of West Palm Beach.
Detectives seized computers and multiple devices from Dibble’s home and all of those devices are being investigated, the MCSO said. The sheriff’s office also said they are working closely with the school district and commended officials there for taking “immediate and appropriate action” regarding the janitor.
“It’s a reprehensible crime,” Jennifer DeShazo, public information director for the Martin County School District, told WPBF. “And being in the business of educating and safeguarding children, it’s absolutely our worst nightmare.”
In a lengthier statement provided to Law&Crime, Jensen Beach High School Principal Lori Vogel sought to calm parents’ nerves.
“Tragically and appallingly, Mr. Dibble was found to be in possession of child pornography,” the statement originally issued earlier this week reads. “Detectives seized multiple devices from his home and are continuing to investigate his crimes. The Sheriff’s Office has worked diligently to keep our school and the Martin County School District informed throughout the day – at this time, detectives do not believe that the images found in Mr. Dibble’s possession are of children associated with our school or the Martin County School District.”
The sheriff’s office echoed that assessment in their press release, saying the children depicted are “not locally affiliated.”
“We’re able to go through every device that he has, which we’ve done,” Budensiek added in comments to WFPB. “So far, there’s nothing that points back to hidden cameras or anything that depicts anyone at any of our Martin County schools.”
Vogel went on to assure parents that the janitor was being held without bond and that he will be prohibited from entering any part of the high school if and when he makes bond on the charges.
“While saying that we are shocked and saddened by this reprehensible and disgusting conduct is an extreme understatement, we urge you to speak to with your child this evening about this arrest,” the principal said. “Please report any suspicious or questionable behavior related to Mr. Dibble to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.”
According to a first appearance order obtained by Law&Crime, Dibble is being held without bond until his first appearance in court. At that point, bond will be set at $25,000 per count – which is $2.5 million total. Dibble is currently being detained in the Martin County Jail.
The defendant was appointed a public defender on Tuesday; the name of his attorney is not currently on the public docket.
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