A former employee at a YMCA in DeLand, FL, faces child pornography charges after police recovered illicit images that had been deleted from his home computer.
Herman Mitchell, 56, was charged on Feb. 11 in Volusia County with four counts of possession of child pornography.
Mitchell worked as a director of member services and database management for the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA until he resigned unexpectedly in December, says Kevin Kilian, the Y’s chief organizational development officer. He had worked for the YMCA since 1997 and had been in his most recent job for two years.
Kilian says the Y did not know about an investigation at the time Mitchell resigned. Police records show that authorities executed a search warrant and seized a computer from Mitchell’s New Smyrna Beach, Fla., home on Dec. 12, 2014, around the time Mitchell resigned.
“This came as a complete shock to everybody,” Kilian says.
Since becoming aware of the investigation, the YMCA has cooperated with authorities, Kilian says. Mitchell, in his job as a membership manager, did not come into contact with children. Kilian says he “is not privy to” the positions Mitchell held with the Y prior to his most recent job.
Between 2001 and 2008, The Daytona Beach News-Journal published several articles that identified a Herman Mitchell as the executive director of the Southeast Volusia location of the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.
The charges against Mitchell stemmed from a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation of people in Volusia County offering to distribute child pornography over peer-to-peer computer networks. According to the affidavit in support of Mitchell’s arrest, authorities traced Internet traffic to a computer at Mitchell’s home in New Smyrna Beach and obtained a warrant in December to search for evidence.
Police seized Mitchell’s computer and subsequently recovered files that had been deleted. Among the deleted material, the affidavit states, were four images of child pornography involving adult men and young girls.