October 14, 2020, the Gainesville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Division, with the assistance of GPD SWAT, served a search warrant at a residence on NW 40th Ave.
The investigation was prompted after GPD received a Cyber Tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The Cyber Tip indicated that an account holder uploaded and shared child sexual abuse material through the Facebook platform.
Subsequent to the Cyber Tip, GPD detectives obtained lawful access to the account information and the files which were shared. The files shared were determined to be child sexual abuse material of a minor prepubescent child. Further investigation revealed that the account was registered to John E. Tennant Jr., 70 of Gainesville, who lived at the residence searched.
Tennant was interviewed by GPD detectives on October 14, 2020 but did not admit to any wrongdoing and reported he no longer accesses Facebook. As a result of the search warrant, numerous electronic devices capable of storing digital media were seized.
A digital forensic examination of Tennant’s desktop and external hard drive, to date, reveal at least 5,000 images of child sexual abuse material. Tennant also had old 3.5” floppy drives which contained child exploitation material. An overwhelming majority of the abuse material is of prepubescent children. Image file information indicates that Tennant’s collection dates to as early as 1996.
Tennant and his wife maintained a daycare out of their home, located at the NW 40th Avenue address, from approximately 1985 until December 2016. The daycare went by the name of Miss Lynn’s Daycare and later changed to Tennant Family Home Daycare. It is not believed that Tennant’s wife had any knowledge of his possession or interest in child exploitation material.
On October 23rd a warrant for Tennant’s arrest, based on 12 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, was obtained by Detective Montague. Today, Tennant was located and arrested by the Gainesville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.
The investigation is ongoing.