74ºF

Gymnastics instructor arrested on child porn charges in Deerfield Beach

BSO: Hassan Jawad, 37, employed by Twister Gymnastics of Boca Raton

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A gymnastics instructor was arrested on child porn charges Thursday morning at his home in Deerfield Beach, authorities confirmed.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating Hassan Jawad, 37, earlier this month after receiving information that a computer had been advertising or sharing child pornography images online since January.

BSO spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said in a news release that detectives uncovered a number of videos and photos of boys engaged in sexual acts with other boys or men. Most of the victims appeared to be between the ages of 7 and 13, she said.

According to Oglesby, Jawad has worked for more than a year at Twister Gymnastics of Boca Raton, at 3100 NW Boca Raton Blvd. She said he previously worked from 2015 to 2017 at New England Academy of Gymnastics in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

"We had absolutely no idea," Sara Shugars, of Twister Gymnastics of Boca Raton, said. "We are completely shocked and devastated and really angry."

One mother whose daughter attends classes at Twister Gymnastics told reporters that Jawad had been her child's instructor.

"The way I saw him interact with kids here -- he was very professional," Jo Englesson said. "I'm just happy that law enforcement is doing what they're doing. I have no idea how they figured that out, but thank God before anything could have happened to this little girl, you know?" 

Jawad faces nine charges for possessing and compiling child pornography, Oglesby said. 

She said detectives are concerned there may be local victims and are continuing their investigation.

Anyone with further information about Jawad is asked to call Detective Jennifer Montgomery, of the Sheriff's Office ICAC Task Force, at 954-888-5239. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.


About the Authors: