Feds: Gym instructor planned to ‘drug’ kids, make porn

Federal complaint shows James Ian McGlothlin wrote a detail, graphic essay of his alledged abuse

James Ian McGlothlin, 39, shown in a jail booking photo following his arrested Feb. 19, 2016 by federal agents.
James Ian McGlothlin, 39, shown in a jail booking photo following his arrested Feb. 19, 2016 by federal agents.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 39-year-old special physical education instructor, with ties to the Oregon City School District, is in federal custody on an allegation he made child pornography and had detailed notes on how he would drug two children so he could sexually abuse a much younger girl.

James Ian McGlothlin, who lives in Southwest Portland, was arrested Friday evening in the 11800 block of SW Kerr Parkway in Lake Oswego.

Federal officials confirm that while under investigation, McGlothlin was an adapted physical education instructional assistant with the Oregon City School District.

The school district has cooperated fully with federal investigators and has taken steps to notify parents about his arrest. KOIN 6 News has learned once the school district was made aware of the investigation, it suspended McGlothlin on Feb. 16, and prevented him from having access to children.

Anyone with information that may be relevant to the case is urged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office tip line: 503.723.4949

Investigators told KOIN 6 News they are seeking the public’s help to identify possible unknown minor victims.

The investigation

Early Tuesday morning, agents with the US Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Interagency Child Exploitation Prevention Team (INTERCEPT) searched McGlothlin’s residence in the 3100 block of SW Luradel Street.

According to a federal criminal affidavit filed by HSI Agent Glenn Dimmick, agents found laptop computers, hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, cell phones, a JVC camcorder, an iPad, and digital camera. During their search, agents found a laptop that was “open and running” from a work area in the garage.

McGlothlin’s wife told investigators that the laptop belonged to her husband.

During the initial search, a federal computer forensic agent found images of suspected child pornography on the laptop.

The affidavit also states that during the search, agents found the following items inside a locked filing cabinet next to the laptop in the garage:

  • A bottle of children’s Benadryl allergy medicine
  • A latex cast of a child’s hand (with suspected pubic hair on it)
  • Eleven pairs of children’s underpants (some of which appeared to have been worn)
  • Children’s swimsuits
  • Various digital media
  • Two photographs of young, prepubescent girls

According to federal court documents, the photos had been “enlarged and were almost life-sized, and had been cut out to include on the girls’ heads and shoulders.” One of the photos was of an 8-year-old.

The children, records show, were known to the McGlothlin family.

“As educators, child advocates, and parents, we are all sickened by the details unfolding from this investigation.” — Superintendent Larry Didway

Additionally, agents found a “homemade, headless child-size doll made out of cardboard and dressed in children’s clothes” inside the locked cabinet, record show. The doll was wearing a pair of children’s underwear over the top of the clothes.

During a forensic look at some of an external hard drive seized from McGlothlin’s residence, agents found a directory labeled “’C’ (located at root:/Forbidden Hobbies/Greater Portland Area and beyond /C).” Agents found 5 image files and 5 video files of a female toddler and an adult male, whose face was not visible, according to the federal affidavit.

Additional files discovered, according to the affidavit included:

  • A video file seven minutes and six seconds in length
  • Four freeze frame images of the infant in a state of undress from the video mentioned above
  • A sexually explicit photo
  • A sexually explicit video

Agents also found “a short essay” on McGlothlin’s laptop computer “in which McGlothlin graphically relives the sexual abuse of the infant depicted” in the video just mentioned. McGlothlin “finishes the essay by expressing his desire to escalate the sexual abuse of the infant.”

In another essay, McGlothlin writes that he plans to “babysit” 3 children and that his plans “include drugging the two older children with Benadryl so he can sexually abuse one of the children.”

The affidavit includes a graphic account of McGlothlin’s alleged plan to take photos and videos of the child.

In another essay, McGlothlin details his sexual abuse of a developmentally disabled 12-year-old who was in his care. The child, records show, was in his swim therapy class.

A phone call

According to the federal affidavit, investigators on Thursday spoke with a person who told them that after the search warrant was executed at McGlothlin’s residence, she spoke with McGlothlin twice by telephone and that during their conversations he admitted the following:

  • He was a pedophile
  • He looked a child pornography
  • He had a sexual interest in an 8-year-old girl
  • He had a sexual interest in his friend’s 2-year-old daughter
  • He had touched the girl while changing her diaper

Records show that some of the photos agents found had been taken inside McGlothlin’s residence. Evidence found inside his garage, including a fitness tracker, matched evidence seen in many of the photos and video.

Oregon DOJ Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

Agents also spoke with another individual who had also spoken to McGlothlin on the phone following the warrant. That person, according to records, told investigators that McGlothlin admitted to taking nude pictures and video of a child victim.

Oregon City District response

In a statement released Sunday morning, Oregon City School District Superintendent Larry Didway said, “As educators, child advocates, and parents, we are all sickened by the details unfolding from this investigation. It is devastating to learn that one of our employees who was entrusted with the care of some of our most vulnerable students may have victimized children.”

He said the safety of students and staff is their top priority, and the district is cooperating with the investigation.

Oregon City schools use fingerprinting and background checks for all staff, he said, and requires “all employees to complete comprehensive safety training each year to help prevent and detect any behavior that might put students at risk.”

The district’s crisis response team will be available for anyone who needs support, Didway said.

Suspect being held for federal case

McGlothlin is being held at the Multnomah County Inverness Jail in Northeast Portland under a federal hold. He is expected to appear in U.S. District Court for the first time on Monday afternoon.

In a prepared statement, officials said the Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit (DECU), made up of investigators from the Vancouver Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office “provided substantial assistance with the case.”

INTERCEPT, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s website, was launched in October 2007. The team is made up of investigators from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, HSI, Oregon State Police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service.