Oregon teacher who twice fled US sentenced in child pornography case

A former Beaverton middle school teacher turned fugitive was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for possessing child pornography and failing to appear in court.

Logan Storm, 37, received 84 months in prison on the child exploitation charge and 12 months for failing to appear at his detention hearing. The sentences will be served consecutively. He was convicted in January following a five-day jury trial of possession of child pornography. The day the jury returned the guilty verdict, Storm was released on an electronic monitoring bracelet pending a detention hearing the next day. When he failed to appear for the hearing, federal authorities launched a six-week manhunt that eventually led to Storm’s arrest in Mexico.

The federal case developed after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assumed the lead role in the multi-agency investigation in coordination with state and local authorities. HSI’s investigation found Storm violated federal child exploitation statutes.

In imposing the sentences, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon said that while Storm had many positive characteristics and traits, it was clear he had not accepted responsibility and that he continued to blame others for his own unlawful conduct.

“Logan Storm was a middle school teacher when he committed this offense,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “He intermingled classroom photos of the very children he was entrusted with teaching into slide shows containing images of child sexual abuse and exploitation.”

The U.S. Attorney praised the sentence imposed on Storm, noting that it reflected the serious and troubling nature of Storm’s criminal conduct.

The investigation began in July 2010 when Storm’s then girlfriend reported to police that she had found child pornography on his laptop computer and on a USB thumb drive hidden in their bedroom. The Multnomah County Child Abuse Team served a search warrant at Storm’s residence and seized a laptop and two thumb drives from his bedroom. Investigators found images of child sexual abuse on the seized devices. Many of the images were interspersed in PowerPoint presentations with graphic cartoons of child sexual abuse, child erotica, and non-pornographic classroom photographs of his former students at Stoller Middle School.

Storm fled the country the day after police searched his home. Prosecutors say he left without saying goodbye to family or friends and without making arrangements for the care of his school-age child.

Storm drove to Canada then flew to Europe, where he remained for more than six months. Storm was originally charged with a number of offenses in the Multnomah County Circuit Court. He eventually returned to the U.S. to face those charges. The state charges were later dismissed in favor of the federal prosecution.

Storm still faces pending state charges of sexual abuse involving allegations of improper touching of two girls at a swimming pool in 2007. That trial is scheduled to begin in December.

The investigation involved the cooperation and participation of HSI, the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Child Abuse Team, the Northwest Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Oregon District.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.