KANSAS CITY, Kan. —A man who had been a teacher and coach has been sentenced to 210 months in federal prison on child pornography charges, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.
Michael T. Cowley, 39, of Shawnee pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography. In his plea, he admitted posing on Facebook as a 19-year-old woman to persuade minor boys to send him photos of themselves nude and engaging in sexual activities. In exchange, he sent them nude photos of a girl that he got from the Internet, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The investigation began in February 2009 when the Johnson County Sheriff's Office received a report from police in Vancouver, Wash., that a 13-year-old boy in Battle Ground, Wash., had exchanged nude photos with a Facebook user who claimed to be a 19-year-old woman in Overland Park.
Investigators determined that Cowley was employed by the Olathe School District and the Jewish Community Center. He taught a computer class at Brentwood Elementary School in Overland Park, coached various boys' baseball and basketball teams, drove a bus route for the California Trail Junior High School in Olathe and worked for the Jewish Community Center as director of a summer sports camp for boys and girls in the first through sixth grade.