May 6, 2014 in City

Man accused of uploading explicit images of middle school students

By The Spokesman-Review

A Medical Lake man is accused of filming students from a local middle school performing sex acts in his apartment during their lunch break and then uploading the scenes to the Internet.

James G. Poindexter, 25, remains jailed on federal child pornography charges. FBI agents searched his apartment at the historic Hallett House in Medical Lake as well as a Spokane Valley apartment where he’d been staying. They seized a smartphone, several computers and other digital storage devices they say contain sexually explicit images and video of boys.

Poindexter argues that search was made illegally because authorities hadn’t established probable cause for his alleged possession of child pornography at the Medical Lake address. An affidavit filed in federal court by Poindexter’s attorney late last week details an investigation into alleged molestation that occurred at the Medical Lake apartment as recently as February. But Microsoft tipped authorities that Poindexter was uploading pornographic images to the Internet in October and November in Spokane Valley.

“There was no evidence presented indicating that evidence of child pornography would be located at the Medical Lake residence,” Poindexter’s attorney, Matthew Campbell, wrote in a motion filed Friday asking the case be dismissed.

According to court records, at least 20 pornographic videos and images were found after Poindexter provided authorities with computer passwords after his March arrest. Poindexter allegedly admitted to performing sexual acts with boys ages 13 to 17, at least one of which occurred without consent, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Authorities received tips from school counselors and others that students hung out at Poindexter’s apartment, where he allegedly gave them cigarettes and where he also used methamphetamine and other drugs. Poindexter said teens would visit during their lunch break, according to court documents.

Pam Veltri, superintendent of the Medical Lake schools, said the district’s policy does not allow students to leave school grounds without a parent’s permission.

“As long as the parent gives them an absence when they come back, we don’t question where they were,” Veltri said.

School officials learned of the investigation when the FBI arrived to search the apartment, Veltri said. Counselors, principals and teachers have all cooperated with investigators, she said.

“We’re doing everything we can,” she said.

According to defense attorney Campbell, Poindexter has been taking medication for mental health disorders since he was 6 years old. Poindexter told police he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Court records show he has been arrested twice in Spokane since 2008, but both cases were eventually dismissed for lack of evidence.

Microsoft was alerted when Poindexter allegedly uploaded three pornographic images to SkyDrive, a cloud-based Internet storage program that enables people to share pictures and video.

He faces 15 to 30 years in prison if convicted on the three charges of creating, distributing and possessing child pornography.

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