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Former assistant high school coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Benjamin Melvin
Boone County Sheriff's Office
Benjamin Melvin

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A former assistant soccer and basketball coach at Hickman High School pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of having child pornography.

Benjamin E. Melvin is scheduled to be sentenced in a Boone County court Jan. 13, according to online court records. A jury trial had been scheduled for next week.

Melvin was arrested and charged in July 2021 after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent a tip to the sheriff's Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Court documents say the missing child clearinghouse received a complaint from Discord, an online messaging platform, in May. Discord reported that a user uploaded a video suspected to be child pornography. The Cyber Crimes Task Force said the video showed what appeared to be a boy between 12 and 14 years old engaging in sexual acts.

Investigators traced the activity to Melvin, who admitted to creating the Discord account and sharing illicit videos, according to court documents. Melvin's original charges included promotion of child pornography.

Melvin was immediately suspended from his job at Columbia Public Schools. A CPS spokeswoman said Tuesday that he no longer works for the district.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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