More teachers arrested in relation to child sexual exploitation

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California and Florida- Once more teachers have found themselves behind bars on suspected charges related to child sexual exploitation, one for solicitation and another for possession of child pornography.

 

In Dover, Florida 37-year-old Anthony Michael Peace solicited images from what he believed was a 14-year-old boy online. The person handing that account however was an undercover detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He was arrested on Wednesday, May 19.

 

Peace worked as a history teacher at Strawberry Crest High School where he was also a former wrestling coach and has been with the Hillsborough County School District since 2006.

 

According to WFLA Peace lost his coaching position after he became the subject of an investigation into inappropriate contact with a minor in 2012.  While the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office found the claims to be "unfounded at that point," he was still removed from his position as coach and given a lifetime coaching ban at Hillsborough Schools.

 

A letter dated July 9, 2012 from General Manager of Professional Standards Linda Kipley stated that "there was no finding of [Peace's] inappropriately interacting with [his] students/athletes" despite his alleged admission to investigators that he "regularly would bring students to his home to spend the night."

 

Investigators with the HCSO are concerned that there may be other minors or students that have been victimized and are asking anyone with information to contact them at (813) 247-8200.

 

At this time Peace has been charged with five counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor, one count of unlawful use of a communication device and one count of using computer services or devices to solicit illegal acts.

 

He was booked into the Orient Road Jail but has since been released on $14,000 bond. The school district has issued a statement saying that he will not be returning to his position and will "move swiftly for termination."

 

In Anaheim, California 39-year-old elementary school teacher Joseph Williams Page was also arrested on Wednesday.

 

Officers working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to identify people believed to be trading images of child sexual abuse online identified Page as a part of their investigation. Officers executed a search warrant at his residence and "suspected child pornography" was found.

 

"Sexual Assault Detectives are not commenting on the amount, or specific nature of the suspected child phonography images" the press release from the Anaheim Police Department stated.

 

According to KTLA officers told them that they moved quickly to make the arrest, taking Page into custody at Guinn Elementary School because of the fact that he was a teacher. The arrest did not happen in front of students or in the classroom though, according to the Orange County Register.

 

At this time investigators do not believe any of his students were victims, and Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said they had no immediate reason to believe that Page played a part in producing the images or had direct contact with the children.

 

He stated though that the investigation was still ongoing and that it was too early to rule anything out entirely at this time. They are asking anyone with information, or that may have been a victim, to contact them at (714) 765-1697.

 

Page was released from custody on bond on May 20.

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