Former Howard Co. substitute teacher indicted on multiple child porn charges

The former substitute teacher in the Howard County public school system arrested on child porn charges in January now faces a sex abuse charge and additional child pornography charges after his indictment last week, Howard County State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan announced this week.

Jeremy Sykes, 43, of Hesperus Drive in Columbia, was indicted Feb. 26 by a Howard County Grand Jury on one count of sex abuse of a minor, three counts of filming child porn, two child porn distribution counts and two counts of possession of child porn.

Sykes, who had been teaching at Folly Quarter Middle School since October 2013, was originally charged with the two possession charges on Jan. 10 after police traced child pornography to his personal computer at his home and a second computer belonging to the school system, police said.

According to the indictment, Sykes is accused of sexually abusing and photographing a 16-year-old girl on Aug. 16. Sykes is also accused of distributing images of a prepubescent girl engaging in sexual acts on Dec. 3. Details about the victims in both incidents were redacted from the indictment.

Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said Friday that the victim in the Aug. 16 incident is not one of Sykes' former students. Police would not say where or if she attended school, or how Sykes got to know her. 

Llewellyn said the additional charges were filed after police found evidence on his cellphone..

On Feb. 24, Sykes was arrested to face the additional charges by border agents at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after returning on a flight from Mexico. Sykes attorney, Andrew Alperstein, said he was on vacation when the additional charges were filed. 

During Sykes original arrest, police said there was no indication the images were of students in the school system. 

According to charging documents, police were contacted on Dec. 19 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that numerous uploads of suspected child pornography images were made to Photobucket by an account that was later found to be linked to Sykes.

The documents state the uploads came from two computers at two locations. The first upload occurred in August from Sykes' personal computer at his Columbia home, and the second upload occurred on Dec. 3 from the HCPSS network, according to the documents. 

The documents state 36 images were uploaded. Some of the images depicted a girl under the age of 16 committing sex acts, according to the documents. 

Sykes is free on $20,000 bond, according to the indictment. 

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