Crime

He imitated college softball coaches to get pornography from girls. He’s going to prison

McClatchy File

An Alabama travel girls softball coach was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after admitting to imitating softball coaches for two college programs for pornographic purposes.

Jason Ford’s sentence on a charge of attempting to produce child pornography includes 20 years of supervised release and a lifetime as a registered sex offender.

Ford, from Dothan, Alabama, ran Elite Lady Sox Fast Pitch Softball Team. He worked in the Dothan school system as a Northview High School teaching assistant.

Among the jobs he’s never held are assistant softball coach from either the University of South Carolina or the University of North Florida.

But Ford electronically dressed himself in those coaching clothes in text messages and emails to high school softball players. In 2017, he started posing as North Florida assistant Jeff Conrad and South Carolina’s Matt Lisle in emails from addresses Jconrad17@yahoo.com and coachlislesoftball@yahoo.com, respectively.

(Hint for high school parents and players in any sport: regard with suspicion any college coach emails that aren’t from a university email address. For example, all University of South Carolina coach emails come from addresses that end “@mailbox.sc.edu.”)

According to Ford’s admission of facts, he asked high school players in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee about their clothes sizes and to keep their conversations private or “he would go on to the next girl on the list.”

Once each school learned of an electronic imposter, it contacted its local FBI office. The FBI’s Miami office got involved in 2018 as “one of the few FBI offices that conduct online undercover operations.”

The lure: One undercover agent acted as a high school softball coach who knew another coach contacted by Ford. Ford asked the “coach” to pass his number along to a 15-year-old recruit.

The bait: A text message to Ford from a 15-year-old pitcher and middle infielder named “Brooke Bradley.”

Ford didn’t just bite, he chomped.

His admission says “he began asking the juvenile questions about her clothing and bra size and then indicated he wanted her to wear a two-piece swimsuit when they were together.”

And he told Brooke she was making his “body parts excited! I hope you like that.”

After advancing their conversation to orgasms, “Brooke” offered photos of her genitalia. Ford requested breast photos as well. “Brooke” asked for payment. Ford agreed, then “asked the child to video herself masturbating and then send him the video.”

Ford sent “Brooke” photos of the gift card codes from a three-pack of Amazon gift cards on April 25, 2018. That constituted payment.

Law enforcement reeled Ford in on May 7, 2018.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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