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Former correctional officer indicted on a slew of child porn charges

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KXII) - A Grayson County man, and former state corrections officer has been indicted on 10 charges having to do with child porn.

Court documents detail how he used popular social media apps like Snapchat to lure children.

“How old are you, what school do you go to? They’ll start with those questions- things that children will be like oh I can answer that, but then they’ll start asking questions like what’s your address, where do you live?” said Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center spokeswoman Nikki Newton.

In February, Pottsboro police began their investigation into Zechariah Mayes- a corrections officer at Buster Cole State Jail in Fannin County.

He was arrested on four counts of possession or promotion of child porn in March, and now he’s charged with ten.

“They go off of what apps are popular with children at the time. We’re seeing a lot with TikTok, Snapchat has been around for a while, that one’s not going away,” Newton said.

In Mayes case, he’s accused of using Snapchat, and a text-messaging app known as Kik.

Court documents detailed how Mayes pretended he was 15, speaking with multiple children.

“You can’t tell what a perpetrator looks like, they’re not the boogie man hiding in the back ally,” Newton said. “It’s our neighbors, our teachers, couches and ministers, it’s people we know.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says Mayes was relieved of his duties at the Cole unit in March and has not been asked to return.

“If you see that your kid is talking to someone that you don’t know who it is.. try and find out what they know about this person, what they’ve shared with this person,” Newton said.

Newton is an outreach associate with the Grayson County CAC says you should always keep a ‘no-secrets’ policy when it comes to social media.

“If you start with that open conversation, kids will be more open to telling them things that make them uncomfortable. It’s never to late to have that conversation about predators hiding on the internet,” said Newton.

Mayes is being held in the Grayson County Jail.

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