Dallas County School Teacher Charged with Federal Child Pornography Offense
FORT WORTH, Texas — A 59-year-old teacher at Reinhardt Elementary School in Dallas, Mark Stutheit, remains in federal custody following his arrest last week on a federal complaint, filed on June 24, 2016, which charges him with receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Following a probable cause and detention hearing this morning in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton ordered that Stutheit remain in federal custody.
According to the complaint filed in the case and testimony presented at today’s hearing, the investigation began last month when an undercover officer with the Queensland Police Service (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) and a person later identified as Stutheit exchanged emails about the sexual exploitation of children.
On June 23, 2016, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a search warrant at Stutheit’s residence in Saginaw, Texas. A forensic evaluation of evidence seized revealed numerous files containing child pornography on Stutheit’s computer and mobile devices.
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. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense as charged is not less than five years or up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
Anyone who may have been victimized in this case is asked to contact HSI at its toll-free number: 1-866-347-2423.
ICE HSI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.
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