BYRON CENTER, Mich. — Shannon Orthodontics has suspended operations after orthodontist Thomas Shannon was accused of possessing child pornography and soliciting underage girls for explicit content.
Shannon, 41, was arrested last week. He appeared in court on 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 (10-20yr felony) - 2 counts
- Computers - Using to Commit a Crime (4-10yr felony) - 2 counts
An email from the Shannon Orthodontics team said operations have been suspended following Shannon's arrest. Staff are working to transfer patients to other practices, and say they will contact patients individually to determine the best care plan moving forward.
Shannon, of Byron Township, had practices in both Grandville and Plainwell.
The investigation into Shannon began in 2021.
According to court documents, Shannon allegedly offered to pay a 17-year-old $150 for nude images and videos, which she agreed to. He would go on to ask her for more photos and videos, specifically when she was in eighth or ninth grade, detectives allege.
The county sheriff's office went to interview Shannon at his orthodontics practice and asked him if he remembered messaging a minor through the app Snapchat two years ago. Detectives said Shannon replied, "Possibly, yes."
The detective went on to ask if Shannon had asked for photos or images of the girl in exchange for money. Shannon ended the interview after saying, "If it happened, obviously it is all there and I have to fess up to it."
Authorities also revealed in court documents that Shannon had hired a computer forensics investigator to take a look at his iPhone and iCloud accounts to show there was no child pornography.
Instead, the investigator reported discovering a large amount of child pornography, including photos of a boy and girl under the age of 10 appearing to have sex. Additionally, the investigator uncovered large amounts of sexually explicit photos of girls under the age of 12.
More images of fully nude girls and boys were discovered after search warrants were executed. The images found contained infants, prepubescent and adolescent children that exposed their genitals and pubic areas, authorities allege.
Detectives said they found records dating back to 2019 showing Shannon had been communicating and soliciting known minors online for sexually explicit photos and videos, and on a few occasions attempting to meet up with those children to have sex.
Detectives have no current information on any victims in the West Michigan area, however they have identified multiple victims.
If you or someone you know may have been impacted, please contact detectives with the Kent County Sheriff's Office at 616-632-6125.
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