Saginaw man accused of trading child porn on 'dark web' is school board president

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (6/12/2018) - The Saginaw man accused of trading child pornography on the so-called dark web has been identified as the president of a Kochville Township charter school board.

Jesse Medina

Jesse Medina, 36, faces 20 years in prison after federal authorities allegedly caught him selling child pornographic images on the dark web, which is a part of the internet hidden to most users.

He was arrested in April and appeared in U.S. District Court recently for a detention hearing.

"He also used a dark web and he also used email addresses that were very difficult to identify and to trace back to him," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Abraham said during the hearing.

She argued that Medina should remain in custody while he awaits trial.

Medina is on the school board of the North Saginaw Charter Academy in Kochville Township. He was appointed to the school board in 2013 and reappointed in 2017.

North Saginaw Charter Academy is managed by National Heritage Academies and has a charter through Central Michigan University.

A spokeswoman for Central Michigan's Center for Charter Schools said Medina has not resigned, but he has been suspended. She said anyone can apply online to become a charter school board member and that background checks, including criminal, are done on all applicants.

Charter school board positions are volunteer.

A family friend, who did not want to be identified, believes Medina is innocent and was set up by federal investigators.

"I think its entrapment," she said. "I just don't believe it -- and it's not because I'm a family friend, it's because I know the person that he is, and we would not do anything that he is saying he is doing."

Medina remained in federal custody Monday in the Clare County Jail awaiting trial.