A Redlands elementary school teacher who has been serving as a regional vice president of the California Teachers Assn. reversed himself and pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of possessing child pornography.
Philip George Dupuis, 49, who has been teaching music at all elementary campuses in the Redlands school district for more than 14 years, faces up to 33 months in prison at his April 12 sentencing.
Dupuis was arrested Dec. 23 after a young man hired to clean the teacher's apartment found a suitcase containing pictures of naked boys, according to court records.
"The guy called the cops and the Feds were brought in," Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, said Friday.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday February 2, 1999 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 2 inches; 47 words Type of Material: Correction
Teacher's role--A story in Saturday's Times incorrectly described Philip George Dupuis, a Redlands elementary school teacher who pleaded guilty to federal charges of possessing child pornography, as a regional vice president of the California Teachers Assn. Dupuis is vice president of the Redlands chapter of the association.
Officials said that when investigators went to Dupuis' home, he gave them permission to search both the apartment and a condominium to which he was moving. The searches turned up sexual paraphernalia and more than 700 photographs and computer disc images of boys and adult men engaged in sexual acts, according to court records.
"They were fairly shocking examples of child pornography, some of it sadistic," Mrozek said.
Authorities said they also have recovered a copy of an anonymous letter, sent to one of the Redlands schools, accusing Dupuis of touching some boy students in an inappropriate way.
Dupuis, who has been held without bail since his arrest, entered a not guilty plea Jan. 11 to felony charges of possession of child pornography. On Monday, he switched his plea to guilty.
Defense attorney Joe Gibbons said the teacher decided to change his plea to avoid the aggravation and expense of what could have been a lengthy criminal trial.
"He wants to get on with the rest of his life," Gibbons told a wire service reporter. "He's very sorry for what he did."