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Ex-substitute teacher guilty of child porn charges

WARREN — A former substitute teacher, accused of having students as young as 16 sending him nude and other explicit photos of themselves, was found guilty of 10 felonies dealing with child pornography.

Michael Mattocks, 33, who had worked in the Liberty school district, was the defendant in a Sept. 23 bench trial in the courtroom of Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay.

McKay on Wednesday pronounced Mattocks guilty of seven counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, and two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. All of the charges are second-degree felonies and Mattocks, of 1350 Stonington Drive, Liberty, could face a maximum of 80 years in prison.

No sentencing date was scheduled, but the $5,000 bond for Mattocks was revoked, and the defendant was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred between 2015 and 2017, according to court documents. Mattocks was arrested in December 2017.

Mattocks’ lawyers last summer opted not to have a jury trial, instead having McKay make a direct verdict after trial. Both prosecution and defense attorneys agreed to turn over legal briefs as closing arguments.

Assistant county Prosecutor Gabe Wildman called five witnesses during the one-day trial, including a 19-year-old woman who was a student during Mattocks’ time in the classroom.

Testimony also came from two agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Special agent Brenda Golek testified Mattocks had images of a topless 16-year-old and another nude image taken from the back.

The agent also said Mattocks’ electronic equipment had applications for sites where people meet for sex. Golek said Mattocks admitted to having some communication with the teen through an application called Wickr.

Golek said Mattocks admitted the relationship with the teen “had absolutely gone too far.”

Defense attorney Rhys B. Cartwright-Jones questioned the agent if Mattocks knew at the time of their communications that the girl was 16. Golek responded that he knew from “day one.”

Special agent Erica Moore had testified there were six images of possible child pornography on one of the folders on Mattocks’ electronic equipment.

Wildman said he plans to file a sentencing recommendation with the court prior to sentencing. The defendant will also undergo a background investigation by the county’s Adult Probation Department.

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