Ex-Boston high school employee accused of raping students, among other sex charges

Prosecutors say John Jamar Cokley, of Boston, surrounded himself with teenage girls and groomed them while he exploited their "vulnerabilities and financial insecurities"


A former Brighton High School employee who also worked with a Boston nonprofit that helps at-risk teens is facing additional sex-related charges, accused of sexually exploiting five high school students and raping two of them between the fall of 2023 and March 2024, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors say John Jamar Cokley, of Boston, surrounded himself with teenage girls and groomed them while he exploited their "vulnerabilities and financial insecurities."



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Three months ago, a local high school reported one of their students was being sexually exploited, according to prosecutors.

Investigators were then provided with multiple Instagram messages between Cokley and the student exchanging explicit photos and videos, authorities said. He also allegedly told the student where he would meet them to "have sex in exchange for money."

This investigation, Hayden said, identified additional victims who reported being exploited or abused by Cokley.

The victims described meeting the Boston man through Instagram, where he would convince them to send naked photos and videos for money, according to Hayden.

"Cokley randomly messaged the girls through Instagram and would compliment their appearance to make a connection," said Hayden. "[He] would offer the girls an 'allowance' if they sent him naked images or videos."

The 38-year-old is also accused of asking two of the victims to sell marijuana.

Prosecutors say Cokley would complain that the victims, who were in school, weren't responding to him quick enough and threatened to take away their "allowance."

Investigators found dozens of naked photos and videos of the victims on both his phone and Instagram account, Hayden said.

"Cokley can be seen in multiple self-produced videos of child sexual abuse material," said the district attorney.

Cokley will have a dangerousness hearing next month after a grand jury returned a 30-count child sex indictment against him last week, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

The indictment expands the charges and number of victims since Cokley's arraignment in April, District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a release.

Cokley is facing seven counts of sex trafficking of a child, five counts of aggravated rape of a child, one count of rape of a child by force, three counts of posing a child in a state of nudity, four counts of posing a child in a state of sexual conduct, four counts of enticing a child under 18 into commercial sex, two counts of inducing a minor to sell a controlled substance, one count of dissemination of harmful matter to a minor, possession of child pornography and purchasing child pornography.

The 38-year-old man is being held without bail until his dangerousness hearing, prosecutors said.

Cokley worked as a paraprofessional at Brighton High School from 2019 to 2021, Hayden said, and was affiliated with MissionSAFE.

Anyone who may have been victimized by Cokley is asked to contact the Boston Police Human Trafficking Unit at 617-343-6533.

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