ABITA SPRINGS, LA (NBC33) — On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed a bill of information charging Jonathan Johnson, 27, with operating two child porn websites from his home.
Johnson has been in jail since June 2013.
Johnson’s mother, Cheryl Johnson, spoke to reporters about her reaction: “I was like devastated. I was like oh my god,” she said.
Cheryl Johnson still can't believe her son is capable of such a heinous crime.
“It's hard. Every time I think about it, I just cry. I have a hard time working. I have a hard time dealing with it, you know,” said the mother.
Johnson is accused of running two child porn websites right from his Abita Springs home, the same home he shared with his parents.
Johnson’s mother said she had no idea what was going on.
“We didn't know until about ten days later when he finally broke down and told us,” she said.
Cheryl Johnson said her son admitted to the crime last may after federal agents seized some of his personal belongings including a computer and cell phone.
She added, “i'm upset at him, mad at him, for doing it to. But what's done is done. There ain't nothing you can do about it.”
According to court documents, Johnson regulated membership on two websites with 27,000 members internationally. He created two categories: members and uploaders.
The sites included tutorials that provided guidance to members about how to communicate and coerce minor boys into sexually explicit videos and how to avoid being caught by authorities.
The sites encouraged members and uploaders to recruit unsuspecting boys from social networking sites.
Investigators found that young boys were sexually exploited in all 200 videos. Authorities say 160 child victims have been identified and rescued.
“I'm really devastated about that, and I know he knows he's done wrong, so we just have to wait and see how it's going to play out,” said Johnson’s mother.
Authorities say Johnson and others used female internet personas to initiate communication with boys.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Inspection service helped with the investigation that has resulted in ten others nationwide being charged by the U.S. Attorneys Office.