Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Shannon waives preliminary hearing

Thomas Shannon

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

KENT COUNTY—An orthodontist who had an office in Plainwell is heading to trial on child pornography charges.
According to court documents, Thomas Shannon, 41, of Byron Township, waived his preliminary hearing—which was scheduled for Wednesday, March 8—following his arrest on Thursday, Jan. 7.
Court records show Shannon posted his $20,000 bound and is out of custody as he awaits his trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
Shannon was arraigned in January on two counts each of four felonies: Child Sexually Abusive Material – Aggravated Possession; Sexually Abusive Material – Possession; Computers – Using to Commit a Crime (10-20-year felony); and Computers – Using to Commit a Crime (4-10-year felony).
In 2021, representatives from the Fuquay Varina Police Department in North Carolina contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office with information about Shannon contacting a 17-year-old girl in the area seeking nudThomas Shannone images and videos.
Shannon allegedly paid the girl $150 for the images. He later asked the girl for additional photos and videos, specifically from when she was in eighth and ninth grade, according to officials.
According to affidavit, Shannon then hired a forensic investigator to examine his iPhone and iCloud accounts in an effort to prove they contained no child pornography. Instead, the investigator found what was described as “a large amount of child pornography” in Shannon’s data.
Photos included images of children under the age of 10 naked and, in some cases, appearing to be engaged in sexual acts.
While detectives have identified multiple victims, there is no information indicating any of those victims are from West Michigan.
If you or someone you know may have been impacted, you’re asked to contact the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at (616) 632-6125.

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