Jason T. Bernard (Photo from Greene County Jail)

Jason T. Bernard, 53, a former sales manager at Macadoodles in Springfield, is scheduled to go to trial June 5 on federal charges of sex crimes involving children.

Bernard was also a part-time sports-radio host with Art Hains on Sports Talk, The Jock, 96.9 FM.

Bernard was arrested in May 2022 and since then has been held without bond in Greene County Jail.

Two prior trial dates — Dec. 5 and March 20 — had previously been continued.

Bernard faces up to life in prison. Each of five counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000. Three counts allege sexual exploitation of a child; one count alleges coercion and enticement; and one count alleges he was in receipt of child pornography.

Prosecutors also have asked that Bernard forfeit any money he might have made from selling the images or any assets he might have acquired from selling the images. (He is not charged with selling any of the images.)

Lawyer: He has no prior criminal history

Bernard’s lawyer asked in May 2022 that he be released from jail prior to his trial.

In support of that motion, attorney Brian Risley argued in court documents that Bernard has no prior criminal history; has lived in Springfield with his wife in the same residence since 2003; had been gainfully employed; and the allegations against him involve his use of the computer and phone, with no in-person contact with any of the alleged victims.

The judge denied the motion.

According to federal online court documents, a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina sent Bernard nude images and videos of herself for money.

“Jane Doe said Bernard was the person who got her started recording herself doing sexual acts because he would pay her for the videos,” the charging documents read.

“Jane Doe said she was 13 years old when she began communicating with Bernard.”
The girl told police in North Carolina that Bernard would pay her $250 a week and would “pay more on occasion depending on what she did for him.”

Greene County deputy was part of investigating the case

The federal charge was supported by a sworn statement submitted to prosecutors by a Greene County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to investigate computer crimes involving children.

Local investigators reviewing Bernard’s computer activities were notified in March 2022 that law enforcement officers in Beaufort County, North Carolina, were also investigating Bernard.

Prosecutors say the story took a twist when the North Carolina girl allegedly blackmailed Bernard.

“Jane Doe said she requested Bernard send her $500 to get rid of the packaging from the items (that) had his information on them,” the charging documents read. “Jane Doe said she requested Bernard send her $500 to get rid of the packaging and said Bernard sent her $500.”

The girl had kept packages he allegedly had sent her — reportedly containing alcohol and sex toys, according to court documents.

In addition, in March 2022 the girl allegedly told Bernard he was being investigated “in an attempt to get him to send her more money. Jane Doe said Bernard did not respond to the message.”

He allegedly paid for a train ticket for girl

Although Bernard did not meet the victim, according to investigators, the girl allegedly said Bernard offered her up to $10,000 to come to meet him. She allegedly declined.

She also said he sent her $500 so she could buy a train ticket to meet him.

“Jane Doe said she kept the money and then blocked Bernard from her social media accounts.”

An investigator “asked Jane Doe if she and Bernard discussed Jane Doe’s age. Jane Doe said she had been truthful with Bernard about her age and said, ‘yea, that’s why he liked me.’”

The girl also allegedly told investigators that approximately 20 to 30 others were following her “private story,” which included nude images and videos.

Bernard allegedly made 21 payments to the girl from Aug. 4, 2021 to Dec. 10, 2021, for a total of $1,675.

In addition, according to court documents, he also allegedly paid her $1,535 from Oct. 14, 2020 to June 2, 2021.

In addition to the girl in North Carolina, local investigators also allegedly found Bernard in possession of numerous sexually explicit photos of prepubescent girls as young as 4 to 6 years old, according to court documents.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@sgfcitizen.org. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin