KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An assistant boys basketball coach at Topeka Seaman High School was charged Wednesday with three counts of child sex crimes.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas announced Wednesday that Jeff Pierce, 40, of Topeka, has been charged with two counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
Based on results of an FBI investigation, the alleged pornographic material was produced in March 2020 and the possession is alleged to have occurred earlier Wednesday.
“We were made aware of this arrest at around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning,” Seaman School District Superintendent Dr. Steve Noble said in a statement to 41 Action News. "Upon finding out about the arrest and investigation, the district immediately began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in the case.
"We are cooperating and working closely with the FBI to provide our complete support in every way possible. Our first concern right now is for the well-being of victims who were impacted by this case and this news.”
According to the school district, the FBI will release more information Thursday, asking for additional information and advising how to connect with victim services. Counseling will be available for students and staff who request it.
“Right now, we just want to be there for our kids, families, and staff," Noble said. "This is devastating news to our school community and other communities that may be affected. Our priority is to get services to the victims involved and be there for our families and our Seaman community.”
Students were not at Seaman High School on Wednesday, because it was a remote-learning day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Principal Mike Monaghan said students will be informed of Pierce's arrest Thursday upon returning, according to the district.
Pierce faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison on each production count and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for the possession count.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.
Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015.