Former Preschool Teacher David Moe Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Child Pornography
DENVER – Former Paddington Station preschool teacher David Moe, age 46 of Denver, pled guilty this afternoon before U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez to distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced. Moe appeared at the change of plea hearing in custody. Judge Martinez is scheduled to sentence Moe on September 10, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on May 4, 2012, a detective with the Loveland Police Department, who is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, while working in an undercover capacity, logged on to the Internet and accessed a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The undercover detective attempted to download a digital file believed to contain child pornography from a remote host computer. The detective was able to connect directly to the remote host computer and the requested file was placed in queue. He remained in queue to receive the file until May 6, 2012, when the connection was terminated. The detective was unable to complete the download.
Using investigative techniques, the detective was able to determine that the defendant was offering a child pornography file for distribution. It was later determined that the Internet Protocol (IP) address offering the child pornography file for distribution resolved to Moe’s residence in Denver, Colorado. A federal search warrant was obtained by HSI and was executed on July 24, 2012. During the execution of the search warrant, items containing child pornography were seized, including two desktop computers, numerous external hard drives, and 383 CDs and DVDs. All of the items seized by HSI belonged to the defendant.
During the execution of the warrant, agents learned from the defendant that he had been a teacher at Paddington Station preschool for the last 18 years. At the time of the search warrant, Moe taught Cultural Rhythms/Enrichments (3 to 5 year olds) and had been the Director of Enrichments and Before and After School Care programs since 2005.
A forensic examination was conducted of the defendant’s computers, external hard drives, CDs and DVDs. Evidence of distribution and receipt of child pornography was found on the defendant’s two computers and an external hard drive. Evidence of child pornography possession was found on the defendant’s computers, external hard drives, and 383 CDs and DVDs. At least 800,000 child pornography/erotica images and over 13,000 child pornography/erotica videos were located on the defendant’s computers and computer media, including the video that had been made available to the undercover detective in May 2012.
A forensic examination reflected that the child pornography possessed by the defendant was well organized and archived. The examination revealed that the defendant possessed child pornography for at least 10 years. Further, the examination revealed that the defendant distributed and received child pornography since at least 2007. The defendant’s child pornography collection included pornographic depictions of children as young as toddlers.
As described in the plea agreement, a forensic examination was conducted on the defendant’s computers and computer media. All images and videos of child pornography recovered during forensic examination were provided to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). A thorough review of all of the images and videos possessed by the defendant reflected no evidence that the defendant himself created or produced child pornography. Today he pled guilty to distributing existing child pornography.
“Combating the exploitation of children is one of the highest priorities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Colorado, and of federal law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the excellent forensic work of HSI, and the hard work of the prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we have obtained a stiff guilty plea from a defendant who distributed large quantities of child pornography, while working with children in a school.”
“Predators who possess child pornography like David Moe, share their huge collections with other predators as if they were trading baseball cards, without any thought or care that each image represents a traumatized helpless child victim,” said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge, HSI Denver. “HSI’s ongoing Operation Predator initiative is an extremely active program targeting and pursuing prosecution for these callous criminals who sexually exploit children.”
Moe faces a mandatory minimum five years in federal prison, and a maximum of not more than 20 years in federal prison. He also faces a term of supervised release of not less than 5 years, and up to life. In addition, Moe faces a fine of up to $250,000 as well as restitution. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Finally, he has agreed to forfeit all of his computers and computer media containing child pornography.
This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Moe is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."