Published: November 03, 2012
Michael Winston Baynes, 59, purchased at least 12 DVDs through the online retailer that contained images of nude youths, according to a federal criminal complaint that served as the basis to arrest him Oct. 22. Investigators also uncovered films and photographs of unnamed area youths.
Baynes told his employers at The Steward School in western Henrico before his arrest that he was under investigation and resigned. He had worked at the school since 2008 as a member of the “athletic/maintenance staff,” according to the school.
School officials stressed Friday that “there are no allegations of misconduct on Steward School property” and stressed that the school has cooperated with the federal investigation.
“Due to the serious and unfortunate nature of this situation, we have communicated basic information to our staff, faculty and parents,” the school said, adding that privacy matters and the ongoing criminal investigation precluded further comment.
An online profile of Baynes describes him as “your prototypical gym rat” and represents that he worked for two other independent schools in the Richmond area as well as three corporate entities. The profile states that Baynes published advice for young athletes and commentaries for online athletic scouting websites.
The two schools said Friday that they could find no record of Baynes’ employment, and representatives of the business connections he claimed could not be reached for comment.
The criminal complaint states that Baynes, who lives in the 1700 block of Hollandale Road in Henrico, said he had worked from 1974 until 2011 for the Henrico Department of Parks and Recreation, maintaining athletic fields, and had volunteered at the Tuckahoe Little League.
Henrico confirmed Baynes’ employment for a portion of that time span; a Tuckahoe official did not provide information about Baynes’ role there.
Baynes is free on bond and is expected to be indicted later.
An 11-page affidavit described how investigators uncovered photo albums and CDs in Baynes’ home “full of photographs of adolescent boys” dating to the early 1980s, as well as photos of youths at various locations who were unaware they were being photographed.
The investigation also allegedly uncovered “secretly filmed encounters” between Baynes and an adolescent boy dating to 1992 that show Baynes purporting to educate the boy about sex and how to protect himself from attackers. The youth was not clothed and received gifts from Baynes, the affidavit states.