SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A fifth-grade teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District has been arrested for allegedly distributing pornographic images of young girls, including a toddler, authorities announced Friday.
David Gordon Weaks, 59, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday.
Prosecutors asked that Weaks be held without bail on grounds that he is a danger to the community and a flight risk. Magistrate Judge Andrew Schopler will consider the request Tuesday at a detention hearing.
Beginning in late March, Homeland Security Investigations agents were conducting an investigation of individuals suspected of making files of child pornography available for sharing on the internet through the use of a peer-to-peer file sharing program, prosecutors said.
On April 4, agents connected to a computer with an Internet protocol address associated with Weaks' residence in San Diego.
Agents were able to download two videos directly from the IP address, both of which showed young minor females engaging in sex acts with adult males, according to authorities.
Homeland Security agents, along with other law enforcement officers associated with the San Diego internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, searched Weaks' home Thursday morning pursuant to a federal warrant and seized multiple computers and other digital items which were found to contain child pornography, prosecutors said.
In a letter to parents/guardians, Principal Veronika Lopez-Mendez said:
At Rosa Parks Elementary School, our first priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for your children. We also believe in communicating openly with our students and parents about incidents that affect our campus.
Following a federal investigation, Homeland Security Investigations arrested fifth-grade teacher David Weaks yesterday on charges of Distribution of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. The San Diego Unified School District and its Police Department are assisting in the investigation.
If you have any concerns about your child's interaction with this teacher, please contact the school immediately.
Please rest assured that we are doing everything possible to continue our focus on your child's education while supporting them during this difficult situation. I will be visiting the teacher's classes to speak with the students and let them know that learning will not be disrupted. As quickly as possible, I will be placing an experienced substitute teacher in the affected classes.
Our school counselors and I will be monitoring the situation at Rosa Parks carefully over the next few days. If needed, we can receive additional support from the district's Counseling and Guidance Department. Additionally, please know that we continue to work with all of the appropriate authorities to ensure the safety of your child.