Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Teacher charged with possessing child porn

Here's an update to a story I posted a couple of days ago. From the Seattle P-I.
A Whitman Middle School teacher accused of having 39 sexually explicit images of boys on a laptop computer he had at school was charged Tuesday with possessing child pornography.

Timothy D. Sheehan, 50, of Seattle could face up to a year in jail if convicted. He was not arrested but will likely have to post $10,000 bail at his June 12 arraignment in King County Superior Court to remain free.

His attorney, Jeffrey Cohen, said he hoped people wouldn't jump to conclusions before the justice system can help bring out the truth.

"He's been a well-respected teacher for more than 18 years without a single allegation of anything inappropriate having been made," Cohen said. "I trust that people will recognize this is simply an allegation at this point."

Mr. Sheehan has had fairly favorable ratings from the students in his class on "". Most seem to think that he is "cool" and his class is "awesome", but that you "don't really do that much in his class". Two of his ratings came after his "administrative leave" began on May 22, 207. In both of those two ratings, there are no comments offered, only ratings for "easiness" (5&4), "helpfulness" (3&4), and "clarity" (3&3).

King County prosecutors said Sheehan's "sexual fantasies regarding children" make him "a danger to any child he meets."

They are absolutely right.

In the earlier article before charges were brought and Mr. Sheehan's name was mentioned, the woman who brought the accusations stated:

He also allegedly described troubling fantasies about violent acts against children.

But the teacher also described to the woman how he behaved at school and how hard he worked to make his students like him, according to the affidavit.

The man told her that "he would let his students watch 'The Simpsons' and gave the kids chocolate and let them do whatever they wanted so he'd be their favorite teacher," the affidavit said.

He named students whom he liked as his teaching assistants, the affidavit said, and he allowed some to take cameras home with them, keeping for himself some of the photos they took, allegedly choosing ones that sexually excited him.

This is the method of "grooming". Predators do this to first choose who would be the easiest prey, and then build a trust up with the child so that they can make their move. This man has been teaching for 18 years, and if any former students have had any inappropriate contact with this guy, I would urge them to come forward. People who prey on children need to be stopped before they cause any more harm. I pray that Mr. Sheehan has not physically harmed any children in his past and that he is prevented from doing so in the future.

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