John R. Lewis, 67, of Sarcoxie, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield with possessing child pornography. Lewis was arrested without incident prior to Thursday night's school board meeting and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.
According to an affidavit filed in support of today's federal criminal complaint, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers contacted Lewis as part of their investigation into allegations that he had exposed himself to a group of high school students who were working for Lewis on his farm outside of Sarcoxie. The troopers obtained a search warrant for Lewis's residence and seized two desktop computers, a laptop computer and electronic storage devices.
Investigators determined that the computers contained 19 multimedia files of child pornography and 113 images of suspected child pornography. The multimedia files and images depicted children as young as five years old.