A former Denton High School journalism teacher is facing a federal pornography charge after a lewd photo of a teenage boy was found on his cellphone, according to federal documents.
Gregory Bogomol, 38, of Fort Worth, admitted to federal investigators that he had communicated with numerous males between the ages of 14 and 17 in hopes of obtaining sexually explicit images, according to a federal complaint filed Friday.
Bogomol was the journalism teacher and a University Interscholastic League academics coach at Denton High until he resigned May 8, according to Denton school district Superintendent Jamie Wilson. Bogomol also had worked as a freelance sports writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle but had not written for the paper since early 2012.
Bogomol is set to appear before a federal magistrate judge in Fort Worth today for a detention hearing to see if he will be released pending trial. His attorney, Cody Cofer of Fort Worth, did not respond to a request for comment.
Wilson said a letter was sent home to parents Tuesday and will be posted on the school’s website today. Counselors will be made available to students who need them. No Denton students had filed any complaints about Bogomol, officials said.
“We are cooperating with the investigation,” Wilson said in a written statement. “Should any additional information from students or others come to light, that information will be shared with the federal authorities conducting the investigation.”
The investigation began earlier this month when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was contacted in Lake Charles, La., by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who learned someone had solicited a nude photograph of their son, according to a sworn statement from Special Agent Amanda N. Johnson filed in federal court.
The teen thought he was exchanging information with a 16-year-old girl named “Crystal Williams” through a social messaging app, and sent a nude photo. When the photo was met with further demands, the boy notified his parents, who then contacted Homeland Security, according to the statement.
Investigators traced the message and photo back to a Samsung Galaxy phone owned by Bogomol, according to the statement.
School officials said in a written statement that the district “acted immediately and swiftly” to ensure the safety of students after learning about the allegations.
The district also has notified the State Board for Educator Certification, which oversees teacher certification, officials said.
Bogomol described himself on Twitter as a journalism teacher and a Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports reporter. The Star-Telegram reported Tuesday online that Bogomol “worked seasonally in the Star-Telegram sports department but has not been employed since February.”
He had also worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Dallas Morning News, a sister publication of the Record-Chronicle.
In recent days, the Denton school district has removed Bogomol’s teacher Web page from the Denton High website.
On a University of Texas website, Bogomol was listed among 2013 participants at the American Society of News Editors’ Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. His bio listed him as a yearbook, newspaper, journalism, photojournalism and professional communications teacher.
He indicated then that he was in his third year teaching at the high school level and had previously served as an adviser to middle school publications for seven years.
As of Tuesday, Bogomol was certified as a teacher in Texas for technology applications, elementary physical education, English language arts and reading, journalism and English as a second language supplemental for various levels ranging from early childhood to high school, according to State Board for Educator Certification records.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.