At least 13 people who have served as mayors have also been wrapped up in child sex abuse cases in recent years, with at least five being accused while still in office.
After the mayor of College Park, Maryland was faced with dozens of child porn charges on Thursday, Fox News compiled a partial list of former and until-recently-current mayors charged or sentenced over child sex or child pornography since 2021.
The College Park mayor, 47-year-old Patrick Wojahn, is charged with 40 counts of possession of child exploitative material and 16 counts of distributing child exploitative material, Fox News reported. In a resignation letter, he avoided admitting or denying anything, writing that he “will continue to cooperate” with law enforcement.
Some of the other mayors on Fox’s list had left office before committing their crimes, some committed them as mayors but left office before being caught, and some were still in office when they were arrested.
One mayor who left office in 1997, Carl Johnson of West Bountiful, Utah, was sentenced on Thursday in a case involving abuse of three victims beginning in the 1980s, FOX 13 reported. He reportedly told police that he had trouble “controlling his sexual urges and has struggled with this problem for most of his life.”
The 45-year-old former mayor of Sebastopol, California, and cannabis dispensary owner, Robert Jacob, pleaded no contest in January to six charges, accused of seducing a 15-year-old boy on the gay dating app Grindr, the Press Democrat reported. The boy testified that Jacob knew he was underage but sent him nude photos, sexually touched him multiple times, and invited other men to have sex with him.
One person on Fox’s list, Donald McKinney from Pickens, South Carolina, was technically a mayor pro tem – a role secondary to the mayor. McKinney was charged for allegedly groping and performing oral sex in 2022 on a minor between 14 and 16 years old, WYFF reported.
Two of the former mayors were accused of covertly recording children in their homes.
The former mayor of Brooksville, Florida, Kevin Hohn, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after police discovered on his hard drive 40 videos and several hundred images secretly captured of children undressing and exiting the shower in his home, according to a press release. Police said Spencerville, Ohio mayor Phil Briggs recorded his girlfriend’s daughters undressing, WTOL reported.