Union High Student Arrested For Child Porn Released On Bond


Thursday, August 30th 2012, 7:36 am
By: Dave Davis


A Union High School student has been released on bond after being accused of taking a photo of a developmentally disabled student using the restroom and then posting it on social media.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office arrested 18-year-old Jonathan DeVito Wednesday afternoon. He was booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of peeping tom, manufacture of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and the computer crimes act (damage/destroy).

DeVito was released on $46,000 bond just before 7 p.m. Thursday.

Jail records show deputies were sent to the high school at 2 p.m. on Wednesday to talk to school officials about an incident that "was sexual in nature."

An assistant principal told a deputy that a teacher at the school reported several of his students were upset over a picture that was posted on Twitter. The photo showed a mentally challenged 16-year-old using the restroom.

According to the arrest report, the photo showed the student with his pants and underwear down to his ankles while using the urinal.

The assistant principal told the deputy several students identified Jonathan DeVito as the person who took the photo on a cell phone and posted it on Twitter. He said he also confiscated the cell phone and saw the photo.

"There is a victim in the situation and we have to do what's right for the victim," Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Major Shannon Clark said.

The sheriff's office said the arrest may turn out to be a lesson, not only about bullying, but also about what constitutes child pornography.

"If it is exposing the genitalia, the body in any way, that someone could get gratification from viewing those pictures, [it] potentially could be a violation of these crimes," Clark said.

And what may have been a prank could have serious consequences for DeVito.

"Our legislature is very aggressive," Clark said. "They're making a lot of laws specifically in this area that most people aren't familiar with. He made a critical judgment call; now the District Attorney will be the one to ultimately say what, if he should face any punishment for that."

The Union School District released this statement on the incident:

"Please note at Union we take the safety and dignity of our students very seriously. When we were made aware of an incident at the High School, we immediately took steps to protect the well-being of our students. We notified the appropriate parties and law enforcement officials. But again, since this is a confidential matter involving our students, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits us from commenting any further."

DeVito's legal representative and his parents issued a press release Thursday night.

In that statement, they said he is an excellent student who participates in leadership at the school and is active in his church and youth group.

"The family will fully cooperate with the District Attorney's office in the resolution of this matter. The family does not think that the quick filing of four felony counts is appropriate for what appears to be, at most, youthful indiscretion. The family wants to make it very clear that their son had no idea that anyone involved was handicapped in any way and absolutely meant him no harm. They look forward to a speedy and fair resolution in this unfortunate matter."

Devito is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.