A former fourth-grade teacher in Alexandria's public schools was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for producing child pornography after admitting he victimized students around the world.
Justin M. Coleman, 36, of Falls Church, videotaped himself with two girls, who were unaware of what they were being told to do, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Those girls were not his students.
He also admitted altering existing images of child pornography to superimpose faces of students he taught during stints in Italy, Japan and at John Adams Elementary in Alexandria, where he taught until earlier this year.
“Justin Coleman was a lurking, stalking predator who victimized little girls for years around the globe,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride, whose office prosecuted the case.
Coleman was discovered after Italian authorities provided a tip to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“In my 25 years of law enforcement, I have not seen a more ... disturbing case,” said John Torres, special agent in charge of ICE's homeland security investigations. “What he did was vile. It was disgusting. It was perverted.”
Coleman's collection of child pornography included more than 70 videos he had recorded in school classrooms that depicted him masturbating behind an unaware student and attempting to film up the skirts of female students.
Coleman apologized for his actions in court, but U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee had none of it, imposing a 30-year term that was higher than what is called for under federal sentencing guidelines. He also imposed a lifetime on probation following release and ordered him to undergo sex offender treatment at the federal medical prison in Butner, N.C.
“You must be separated from us,” Lee told Coleman.
MacBride said there is no evidence Coleman had sexual contact with any of his students or that he ever distributed the images he created over the Internet.
Defense lawyer Peter Greenspun had requested a 15-year sentence and said Coleman suffered from mental health issues and alcoholism.
“This man gets what he has done, the pain he has caused and the necessity to change,” Greenspun wrote in court papers.