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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Teacher Charged With Owning Child Porn

March 17, 2000

PANORAMA CITY — A teacher at Liggett Street Elementary School was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of child pornography, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Paul Kreutzer, a Canyon Country resident, allegedly downloaded 60 images from a Web site based in the Netherlands, according to court documents. At least nine of the images depicted children, authorities said.

Kreutzer was arrested after a six-month federal investigation that traced the electronic fingerprints left when Internet users visit Web sites.

"Certainly, this case shows the relative ease with which we are able to track down people who commit crimes on the Internet," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney. "The use of the Internet often gives people a false sense of anonymity."

Shel Erlich, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District, said that Kreutzer had taught at the Panorama City school for about four years, most recently in a class of third- and fourth-graders.

The teacher will be placed on unpaid leave until the case is resolved, at which time the district will decide whether to dismiss him, Erlich said.

Under federal law, possession of child pornography is a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison. A federal magistrate set Kreutzer's bail at $30,000 Thursday.

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