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Crime & Courts

Osceola actor pleads guilty to child porn charges


Published:   |   Updated: April 19, 2013 at 02:12 PM

An Osceola County actor who judged youngsters at talent competitions pleaded guilty to two counts of producing online child pornography, the Department of Justice said Friday.

John David Baker, a British citizen living in Celebration, also used computers and the Internet to engage in conversations with several minors, the department said.

From November 2008 to August 2012, Baker worked as an actor and helped train and audition adults and children pursuing entertainment careers, the department said.

According to investigators, Baker said he received photos of individuals, some through his request and some not solicited, through his work in the talent field.

Federal prosecutors said they found several images and a video of a minor engaging in sexual conduct.

By using a fictitious online identity, Baker persuaded minors to send him images and videos of themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct via the Internet, investigators said. Baker then sent the images to others, investigators said.

Baker, 29, also served as a judge for a talent competition in Florida. In this role, Baker met children auditioning to obtain work in the art and film industries, the department said.

According to investigators, Baker acknowledged that he had been confronted by the director of the talent competition about inappropriate online contact with minors and admitted to chatting online with other minors from the competition.

Baker also admitted that many of his chats were sexually oriented and that he sent or traded sexually oriented photos of himself or others during chats, investigators said.

According to investigators, Baker solicited photos from at least 10 children in the talent competition.

Before his September arrest, he was creative director of JB Creative, a production firm whose clients included Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World, according to the company’s website. His office was across the street from an elementary-middle school in Celebration.

Baker faces 15 to 30 years in prison for each count and a possible life sentence under supervised release. No sentencing date has been set.

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