Saturday, April 8, 2017

Child porn suspect served as court-appointed guardian

ELYRIA — A man who was arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges has a long history of working around children, from being a former Juvenile Court magistrate to — more recently — a court-appointed guardian.

Former court magistrate James Paterson, 49, of Lorain, was charged Tuesday with receiving child pornography after FBI investigators discovered “hundreds” of sexually explicit images of children on his computer.

Paterson worked as a magistrate for Judge David Berta with the Lorain County Juvenile Court from 2007 to 2013, when he left and took a position as a guardian ad litem for the court, according to Jody Barilla, court administrator for Lorain County Domestic Relations Court.

A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to represent children in certain domestic cases — often guardianship cases or delinquency cases where there is an issue between a child and parent.

Guardians ad litem often interview the children they’re assigned to work with, whether alone or with a parent, before making a recommendation to the court on the case, Barilla said.

To become a guardian ad litem, candidates have to go through training and a background check.

Since taking the job in February 2013, Paterson has worked with 21 children, according to Barilla. Most of his cases were delinquency cases, Barilla said, meaning that Paterson would have been working more frequently with teenagers.

At the time he was arrested Tuesday, Paterson was active as a guardian and had four open cases, Barilla said.

The arrest came as a result of at least four months of investigation during which the FBI discovered Paterson was frequenting child pornography sites and leaving comments identifying himself as a pedophile, according to a complaint filed Monday by the FBI in the U.S. District Court.

The online activity led investigators to search Paterson’s house Monday where they found a computer with hundreds of images of children from newborn to 6 years old being sexually abused, according to the FBI.

Paterson, who was home at the time, admitted to authorities to having a collection of between 500 to 1,000 sexually explicit images of children.

“Paterson admitted to posting comments online in which he self-identified himself as a pedophile and to sexually abusing children,” the complaint stated.

After his arrest, however, Paterson said he never physically abused any children.

Special Agent Kelly Liberti, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland FBI, said she couldn’t comment Friday whether the FBI is conducting an investigation into Paterson’s interactions with children during his time as a guardian ad litem.

Paterson was in federal custody Wednesday and is scheduled to have a detention hearing at 2 p.m. Monday at the U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

Full Article & Source:
Child porn suspect served as court-appointed guardian

2 comments:

Jean said...

It makes me sick to think of it. I don't know how anyone would have known how to prevent this but to think of a pervert with kids makes me shudder.

Richard Black said...

Would you want a person of this character to be fully in charge of your loved one? A judge approved this man to make decisions and have complete and omnipotent power over four lives. Wake up America, guardianship is human trafficking.