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Federal charges filed against ex-teacher accused of having child porn

Published August 14, 2014 4:38 pm

Courts • Jose Maria Ardanaz Ezcurida is now facing two federal charges.
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A fifth grade Park City teacher and Boy Scout leader charged earlier this week in state court with possessing child pornography is now facing similar charges in federal court.

Jose Maria Ardanaz Ezcurida, 31, has been indicted in U.S. District Court on one count of distribution of child pornography and one charge of possession of child pornography. A grand jury returned the indictment last week, according to officials, but the documents were not unsealed until Thursday.

On Monday, he was charged in Summit County's 3rd District Court with five counts of second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor.

Ardanaz Ezcurida worked at Parley's Park Elementary School, though he has been fired since his weekend arrest, according to the Park City School District.

He was arrested on Saturday, but was released from jail after posting $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court on Friday and in district court on Aug. 25.

According to a probable cause statement, investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating the case after the image hosting website Photo Bucket told police that a video containing child porn was uploaded to their site Tinypic.com in May from a Park City home.

A search warrant was served on Ardanaz Ezcurida's Park City condominium on Aug. 7, while the man was out of the country. Investigators allegedly found a thumb drive that contained five child pornography videos.

Ardanaz Ezcurida allegedly admitted to police that he viewed and possessed the videos, according to court records.

While serving the search warrant, investigators also found evidence that Ardanaz Ezcurida was "an avid member and leader of a scout group in the Park City area," according to a probable cause statement.

He was scheduled to teach a dual immersion fifth grade class this fall, according to a news release from the school district, and he taught second grade last year. The district said that because Ardanaz Ezcurida admitted to viewing the child porn, his employment has been terminated.

The man was in the United States on a work visa, according to court records. The district said Ardanaz Ezcurida went through a criminal background check in Spain, and he had no prior criminal record.

District officials also noted that a school laptop issued to Ardanaz Ezcurida contained no illegal videos or photos.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller

 

 


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