Prince George’s Co. ex-teacher, coach sentenced on child pornography charges

WASHINGTON — A former Prince George’s County, Maryland, substitute teacher and basketball coach was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison and a lifetime supervised release on charges of producing child pornography.

Christopher Harris Speights, 35, was sentenced Tuesday after having pleaded guilty in March. He coached basketball at Bradbury Heights Elementary School, in Capitol Heights, for about nine years, as well as a traveling basketball team.

He pleaded guilty in March to federal charges of production and attempted production of child pornography, as well as charges of child sex abuse and possession and distribution of child pornography in Prince George’s and Worcester counties. Prosecutors said in a statement that any sentence in those cases will be concurrent to his federal sentence.

Speights was arrested by the Maryland State Police in April 2017 after they got a tip from the online storage company Dropbox that someone was storing child pornography on their site that involved children.

Prosecutors said that during the raid on his house, Speights confessed to having child pornography on his iPad, as well as documenting himself sexually exploiting boys at his home, as well as during school and basketball team trips in Maryland and North Carolina.

He also posed as a minor online and solicited sexually explicit images from boys and girls, threatening to tell “Coach Speights” about inappropriate conversations if they didn’t comply.

All told, prosecutors said Tuesday that Speights asked for images from more than 20 young people.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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