MACOMB, Okla. – Newly unsealed court documents allege a social studies teacher, charged with distributing child pornography, shared thousands of files in a private messaging group that appear to show school-aged children engaged in sex acts.
Lucas William Cane, 30, a Macomb Public Schools teacher, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on August 28 and made an initial appearance in Oklahoma federal court on distribution and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.
Cane, and Daniel A. Nickelson of Arizona, were charged in Washington, D.C. district court on August 24 in connection to an FBI child exploitation task force dating back to July.
Cane, who is married and has children, taught junior high and high school social studies and was set to start coaching the junior high boys basketball team this year, according to district officials. But, just weeks into the school year, Cane was arrested and charged with distribution and conspiracy to distribute child pornography.
“When the arrest occurred and we visited with law enforcement when they came to notify us, the question was asked, ‘Does this pertain to Macomb?’ And we were told that we were not part of the investigation,” said Macomb Public Schools Superintendent Matt Riggs. “What was disclosed to us was that he was arrested, they did disclose the nature of the charge.”
For two weeks, the charges and criminal complaint were under wraps, until a federal judge in Washington unsealed the documents last Friday.
According to the 21-page criminal complaint, an undercover Metropolitan Police Department detective assigned to the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation Task Force was invited in early July to a messaging group called “PEDOS ONLY” on the free messaging app Kik.
That chatroom, according to court documents, led to another chatroom where Cane – posting under the Kik user “Summersweet87” – was asked by another user, later identified as Nickelson, to “post an image or video the group may like.”
According to the complaint, Cane posted 23 cloud storage links containing more than 6,500 pictures and videos “depicting children who appeared to be of elementary, middle, and high school ages engaged in sexual acts or posing sexually.” Some children appearing alone, with adults or with other children engaged in various sex acts.
Investigators subpoenaed Kik, AT&T and Apple for user data, tracking the person behind the post to Cane’s devices and his registered LLC in Ada.
Cane is currently suspended and awaiting transfer from Oklahoma to Washington on the charges.