Kent County orthodontist hires forensic investigator, who then turns him in for child porn

West Michigan-based Orthodontist Thomas Patrick Shannon is now facing eight felony charges
Thomas Shannon web pic
Posted at 12:22 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-09 17:40:49-05

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Orthodontist, Dr. Thomas Patrick Shannon, is facing criminal charges after investigators say he was found to have solicited sexually explicit photos and videos from a minor in North Carolina through social media.

The Kent County Sheriffs Detective Bureau received a tip about Shannon's online communications with a 17-year-old girl from the Fuqay Varina Police Department in North Carolina.

Shannon in court

Detective Tim Potts with the Kent County Sheriff's Office went and interviewed Shannon at his business, Shannon Orthodontics.

Detective Potts asked Shannon if he could recall talking to a young girl via Snapchat roughly two years ago, to which Shannon allegedly replied, “possibly, yes.”

“You asked for some nude photographs and you were going to send her money,” Detective Potts continued.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Kent County’s 63rd District Court, Shannon replied, “if it happened, obviously it’s all there and I have to fess up to it. I didn't know anything more about that, but some girls are on there soliciting."

Shannon then apparently made a confusing move.

He apparently hired a forensic investigators to examine his iPhone and iCloud accounts in an attempt to show “there was no child porn stored on it.”

The investigator allegedly found “a large amount of child porn” in his data.

This allegedly included photos of minors under the age of 10 and sexually explicit photos of prepubescent and adolescent children.

As Kent County Detective Christopher Goehring continued to investigate the case, he apparently found that Shannon had been communicating with known minors online and seeking explicit photos and videos since at least January 2019, and had used multiple social media apps and online banking accounts to do so.

Investigators believe Shannon had at some point attempted to “make arrangements to have sex with the minors.”

Search warrants were executed on Shannon's devices and accounts, and Detective Goering allegedly discovered further images of naked boys and girls, including infants and prepubescent children.

Shannon has been charged with 8 felony charges in the case, including possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and using a computer to commit a crime.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the case and is urging anyone with information about Shannon's activities to come forward.

A letter went out to patients of Shannon Orthodontics. It states the office will be in touch soom to discuss future orthodontic needs.

Shannon Orthodontics Email

Shannon’s attorney, Frank Stanley, sent a statement to FOX 17 Friday afternoon saying, "My client begins the legal process with the presumption of innocence. He has cooperated fully with authorities in their investigation. We look forward to his day in court when these allegations can be addressed."

Shannon is expected to be arraigned at some point Friday on the following charges:

  • Child Sexually Abusive Material - Aggravated Possession - 2 counts
  • Sexually Abusive Material - Possession - 2 counts
  • Computers - Using to Commit a Crime (10–20-year felony) - 2 counts
  • Computers - Using to Commit a Crime (4–10-year felony)- 2 counts

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says if you or someone you know may have been impacted, call detectives at (616) 632-6125 or call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 to report information safely and anonymously.

Editor’s Note: The consultant in the attached video story works with dental and medical offices across the nation and Canada including Michigan. She is integrated in the dental community through social media and runs a private dental group called Mitten Dental Connect.

Orthodontist arrested on child porn charges

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