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Published: Friday, 2/15/2008

North Toledoan faces child porn charge

McIntyre McIntyre
HANDOUT LUCAS COUNTY SHERIFF NO Enlarge

A North Toledo man faces a federal child pornography charge after the proprietors of a North Toledo gymnasium that runs cheerleading programs became suspicious about his behavior there and called police.

Keven McIntyre, 31, of 3575 Stickney Ave. was assigned a public defender and bound over for a detention hearing Tuesday during an initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Vernelis Armstrong in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

He was being held in the Lucas County jail without bond.

Along with the federal count of possession of child pornography transmitted in interstate or foreign commerce, McIntyre faces a state charge of failure to register as a sexual predator, for which he was arraigned Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Because he has prior rape and gross sexual imposition charges involving juveniles, McIntyre faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison if convicted on the federal charge, Tom Weldon, an assistant U.S. attorney in Toledo, said.

The maximum penalty is 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities yesterday said the proprietors of the Cheer Works gymnasium, 5270 Lewis Ave., had been "very cooperative" during the investigation, and that no assaults are believed to have occurred at the facility.

"We believe we headed this off," Mr. Weldon said.

Brittany Gessner, who with her husband owns Cheer Works, told The Blade she is the mother of five young children and very protective "of all our athletes."

She said she called police after McIntyre, who had been working out at Cheer Works and soliciting girls there for private gymnastics lessons, turned up at a cheerleading meet where girls from the gym were competing and acted inappropriately.

An Internet search then revealed his past sexual offenses to her.

Her complaint led authorities to obtain an arrest warrant, charging McIntyre with failure to register as a sexual predator.

And during his Feb. 1 arrest pursuant to that warrant, McIntyre made self-incriminating disclosures about pornographic images involving children on his computer, according to a sheriff's report and a U.S. Secret Service affidavit.

A forensic investigation by Toledo police preliminarily located 80 images on the computer, at least 18 of which had been saved to various hard-drive files, authorities said.

The images are known to have come from foreign sources and depicted children under 15 involved in sexual acts, they said.

Cheer Works is open to the public for workouts and has training and competitive programs for adults as well as children, Ms. Gessner said.

McIntyre worked out there for about four months, she said, and began soliciting some of the parents there to give private lessons to their daughters.

"He came in with an Olympics jacket, and he was a very good gymnast," Ms. Gessner said.

Cheer Works records cited in the sheriff's report showed McIntyre gave five private lessons on the premises between Dec. 5 and Jan. 9.

But because Cheer Works declined to consider hiring him as a staff member, no formal background check was conducted.

Once his behavior started to arouse suspicions, Ms. Gessner said, his history was discovered and he was banned from the premises.

McIntyre was convicted of rape and gross sexual imposition in 1997 after a backyard camp-out at his then-residence in Holland, during which he

exposed himself to and had sexual contact with girls ages 9 and 11.

In 2005, he was convicted in Wood County of importuning after he again exposed himself to young girls in Perrysburg.

According to the Secret Service affidavit, McIntyre told police during his arrest "he is aware that he has a problem regarding his interest in child pornography and has unsuccessfully attempted counseling in the past for his problem."



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