Google turns in man with child porn in his Gmail account - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Google turns in man with child porn in his Gmail account

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Google tipped off police that John Skillern had child porn in his Gmail account. (CBS photo) Google tipped off police that John Skillern had child porn in his Gmail account. (CBS photo)
PASADENA,TX (CBS) -

A man who worked at a Denny's restaurant in Texas and took photos of the children who ate there was caught by police after Google tipped them off.

John Skillern was convicted of sexually assaulting a child 20 years ago. Police said technology, unthinkable back then, caught him preying on children again.

"They got a tip from Google, basically Gmail," said David Nettles, Houston Metro Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.

Nettles said Skillern used his Google account to email a friend three explicit pictures of a young girl.

Google's software detected the pictures and turned Skillern in to authorities.

"He was trying to get around getting caught," said Nettles. "He was trying to keep it inside his email. I would never be able to find that."

Thanks to the tip, investigators said they obtained a warrant, which led them to find the child porn on Skillern's tablet and cellphone. They also discovered texts and emails about his sexual interest in children.

Police said Skillern worked at the restaurant in Pasadena as a cook. Another disturbing detail was they say they found, on his cell phone, video of children visiting the restaurant with their families.

Although the sex offender registry said he lives at an apartment in Houston, police said he spent the most time at his parents' home on Hickory Lane in Pasadena.

Neighbors said they had no idea that the friendly man they knew was really a sex offender.

"That really makes me want to cry that my children are out here and I don't know if he was watching them," said Yesenia Gonzales, a neighbor.

Skillern was charged with both promotion and possession of child pornography.

Google would not comment on their technology to fight child porn.

Police and parents said they were grateful for the tip.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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