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BuzzFeed removes article about journalist accused of child pornography

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A 2018 BuzzFeed article about a journalist who told a group of schoolchildren that he was gay. was shot down just one day after it was announced that he had been charged with child pornography.

Slade Sohmer, 44, former editor-in-chief of the left-wing news site The Recount, was released Monday on $100,000 bail after being charged in a Massachusetts court with possessing and disseminating “hundreds of images of child pornography and videos.”

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of dissemination of child pornography.

In May 2018, BuzzFeed News wrote an article based on a viral social media thread that Sohmer posted on X, the platform then known as Twitter.

Sohmer’s X account has since been deactivated.

The story, which is still available in the Wayback Machine Internet ArchiveIt was titled “People are moved by this writer’s conversation with a group of fourth graders.”

Slade Sohmer, 44, former editor-in-chief of the left-wing news site The Recount, was released Monday on $100,000 bail.
Slade Sohmer/Facebook

The subtitle of the story said: “Children are books full of blank pages.”

Sohmer, who was 38 at the time, told a story about a visit he made to his mother’s fourth-grade class.

Sohmer’s mother, Susan Sohmer, worked at New Hyde Park Road School on Long Island, according to her social media page.

The Post left a message on Sohmer’s voicemail. BuzzFeed was not immediately available for comment.

On May 11, 2018, Slade Sohmer wrote on social media that he was invited to his mother’s fourth-grade classroom to commemorate the “perfect confluence of Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day.”

He wrote that he talked to the children about writing.

BuzzFeed News published a 2018 story about Sohmer visiting a fourth-grade classroom.
REUTERS

“Other than that, I don’t have much in common with 10-year-olds, so I was nervous,” he wrote.

Slade Sohmer wrote that fourth graders were “PSYCHOLATED” because a “new adult…wants to talk to them.”

“So we approach the corner of the group and all 20 of them sit cross-legged in a semicircle looking at me in the chair,” he wrote.

Slade Sohmer then recalled the “personal questions” that peppered him, including “What is the happiest moment of your life?”; “Do you have a girlfriend?”; “Do you have a wife or children?”; and who do you live with?”

Sohmer recalled visiting her mother’s fourth-grade classroom.
He wrote that the fourth graders were “PSYCHOCATED” because a “new adult… wants to talk to them!”
Sohmer recalled how disconcerting it was when children asked him about his personal life.
Sohmer’s social media posts about revealing his sexual orientation to children went viral.

He then wondered if he was “about to come out to these kids.”

“At that moment I looked at my mother, who nodded and mouthed something like ‘go ahead,’” Slade Sohmer wrote.

“So I said, ‘I live with my boyfriend.’”

After his “face turned red” and “the air flew out of the room for a split second,” Sohmer wrote that he was relieved that “none of these precocious bastards are giving up.”

Sohmer has pleaded not guilty to possession and dissemination of child pornography.
Ryan Kobane/BFA/Shutterstock

The BuzzFeed story was published Tuesday, but the link to the article did not work within 24 hours of multiple news reports about Sohmer’s accusation.

The Post has sought comment from the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district.

Court documents cited by The Berkshire Eagle earlier this week allege that Sohmer’s phone contained disturbing video clips showing children, believed to be as young as three years old, being raped and forced to perform sexual acts by adults.

Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey said this was one of the most “egregious” cases of its kind she has come across.

If convicted, Sohmer faces mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in state prison if convicted of dissemination of child pornography and five years if convicted of possession of child pornography.

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