Stories involving child abuse and harm are some of the most difficult to hear. Unfortunately, reports such as this one are prevalent in our everyday news.
According to this article by Fox 5 San Diego, a South Bay elementary school teacher is accused of possessing child pornography and using it to convince boys to expose themselves online. The 41-year-old was previously charged with molesting a former student. Today, he faces new charges which include allegations of a sex crime committed against a second boy. In addition to previous charges, the suspect now faces 12 counts of committing a lewd act on a child involving a second victim.
The first-grade teacher was initially arrested after agents with the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched his home. An investigation discovered the suspect posed as a girl on website called “MeetMe” and persuaded boys to expose themselves live via webcam.
Commentary by Sam Spital, Criminal and Sex Crime Defense Attorney:
“UT San Diego news reported January 4, 2013 that Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) participated in a national child predator sweep entitled Operation Sunflower in which seven individuals in San Diego were arrested for 20 felony charges of attempted molestation of a minor under age 14, along with distributing and possession of child pornography. It was revealed that one of the children was 19 days old and five of the victims were under age 3. The defendants range in age from 25 to 57, and one was listed as a teacher in the Chula Vista Elementary School.
The article did not contain any other details regarding the suspects, the presence or lack of a criminal history, nor any discussion regarding possible arguments on behalf of the individuals, mitigation and/or evidence of remorse. It strains credulity that far too many stories fail to provide a balanced account of a totality of the facts and circumstances. Perhaps on a re-examination of the underlying goals in publishing news that fully informs the public the editors will require a full and complete report.”