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Ex-PTA president accused of making child porn at Washington elementary school

By Leslie Bentz, CNN
updated 11:26 AM EDT, Thu August 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • School district says the man passed a background check
  • "This is not something the school could reasonably have prevented," it says
  • Feds were tipped off by investigators in Denmark and Australia

(CNN) -- A Washington man is facing federal child pornography charges after allegedly recording and posting online the sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl at an elementary school where he was once the PTA president.

Federal prosecutors say David M. Navarro, 37, shot a cellphone video of the girl performing oral sex at Belfair Elementary School -- and shared it on the web.

Court documents don't say whether Navarro was the man in the video.

At the time of the incident, Navarro was the president of Belfair's parent-teacher association.

Navarro faces multiple charges, including the production, ownership, and distribution of child pornography.

Court documents reveal Navarro was arrested and charged in San Diego in 2009 for "lewd and lascivious acts with a child" as well as "indecent exposure," but the charges were dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Police: Florida man linked to up to 1 million child porn videos, images

North Mason School District Superintendent David Peterson issued a statement Wednesday, describing Navarro as a "school volunteer" who passed a "State Patrol" background check in 2011.

He also said he has been in contact with the lead FBI investigators, saying "the FBI informed us today that this is not something the school could reasonably have prevented."

Peterson assured parents that the North Mason School District "takes the responsibility of the safety and welfare of all students extremely seriously."

U.S. Federal authorities were tipped off to the information by investigators in Denmark and Australia, who came across a "large number of files" of suspected child pornography, which had been appearing on sites across the globe.

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Upon closer inspection, investigators discovered a GPS stamp in one of the videos, with the coordinates matching those of Belfair Elementary School.

Investigators then alerted the FBI, who arrested Navarro four days later. Court documents indicate authorities were worried that the assaults were ongoing.

An FBI special agent, submitting a letter to the court, alleges that Navarro's e-mail account was linked to an "account on a website known by law enforcement to post . . . child pornography."

The agent said Navarro appears to have posted at least 14 photos to the website, including one of the girl who appears in the video. Authorities believe Navarro created at least six videos in which the 8-year-old girl was sexually assaulted.

U.S. investigators also searched Navarro's Belfair home Friday, and seized two pairs of boxer shorts, at least 10 computers, and an iPhone 5, which they suspect was used to make the illegal videos.

Navarro is currently jailed, pending a detention hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday at a federal courthouse in Tacoma, Washington.

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