Former Middle School Teacher in Federal Custody on Child Pornography Charge
Defendant Was a Choir Teacher at Cross Timbers Middle School in Grapevine, Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas — Daniel Oberlender, 45, a former choir teacher at Cross Timbers Middle School in Grapevine, Texas, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging transportation and distribution of child pornography. He made his first appearance in federal court this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton and was detained. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to the complaint filed in the case, Oberlender knowingly used the Internet and Skype software to share a video file depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The criminal complaint was filed after law enforcement executed a search warrant at Oberlender’s residence in Grapevine on December 18, 2012.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted of this offense, however, Oberlender faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than five, or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.
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