Federal child porn charges for kindergarten teacher - Albuquerque Journal

Federal child porn charges for kindergarten teacher

Joshua Weitz, a teacher at Whittier Elementary School, has been arrested and charged with distributing child pornography. (MDC)
Joshua Weitz, a teacher at Whittier Elementary School, has been arrested and charged with distributing child pornography. (MDC)

The Albuquerque kindergarten teacher accused of downloading and sharing child pornography is now facing federal charges in the incident.

Whittier Elementary School teacher Joshua Weitz, 39, was arrested by Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies Nov. 4, accused of 25 counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

On Wednesday, federal authorities charged him with distribution, receipt and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the same incident. The federal complaint alleges that the downloads affect interstate or foreign commerce because they were downloaded from the Internet.

Elizabeth Martinez, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, said that, in some cases that are charged in both state and federal court, the state charges are dropped while the federal charges continue.

It’s unclear if that will happen in this case.

An investigator with the state Attorney General’s office found that child porn had been downloaded by someone on an IP address registered to Weitz’s home between Oct. 11 and Oct. 22, according to the sheriff department’s criminal complaint.

Deputies searched Weitz’s home Nov. 4 and found 40 child porn files on a computer, according to the complaint.

He was arrested and appeared in Metropolitan Court the next day, where Judge Yvette Gonzales set his bond at $25,000 cash or surety, saying that he has no criminal history and is not a flight risk. He bonded out the next day.

He was arrested by federal authorities Wednesday night and made his first appearance in federal court Thursday morning. He has two hearings scheduled Friday in federal court. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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