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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Former East Valley High School teacher charged with possession of child pornography

UPDATED: Fri., April 16, 2021

A former East Valley High School teacher was charged with possession of child pornography earlier this year after the Kik app flagged the teacher’s accounts and reported the illicit images to law enforcement, documents say.

Ryan Seidel, 41, is facing 12 criminal charges, all related to possession of child pornography.

Seidel had been a teacher on special assignment at East Valley High School working with other teachers on digital learning for several years. Prior to that, he taught math at the high school.

He resigned from his teaching position on March 11 but had been on leave since July, when the school district was alerted to the investigation, said Jane Stencel, director of human resources.

Stencel said the school district only notifies families of criminal investigations into staff members if law enforcement indicates there’s student involvement in the case.

“We were not led to believe any of our students were involved,” Stencel said.

Seidel also was a volunteer firefighter and EMT with Fire District 4. He had been a volunteer since 2009 and resigned March 5 for “personal reasons,” said Assistant Chief Howard Johnson.

In 2019, Kik, a messaging app, alerted authorities to child sexual abuse material being exchanged, which started an investigation by the Seattle Homeland Security office, according to court records.

They identified two Kik accounts, “catcallsnotwanted” and “angels4me777,” that they suspected were run by the same user.

On just one of the accounts, there were more than 250 images, many of them explicit. The images depicted children as young as toddlers up to teenage girls, according to court records.

Investigators were able to trace the IP address to Seidel’s Mead home. Law Enforcement executed a search warrant on July 29 at Seidel’s home.

Seidel refused to unlock his cell phone with his fingerprint and refused to provide police with the passcode, according to court documents

A forensic examination of Seidel’s devices found that he had a third Kik account that was also involved in the distribution of pornography and child sexual abuse materials. On that third account, police located 122 files containing child sexual abuse materials in the first degree, 280 files of second-degree child sexual abuse materials, plus evidence that he distributed the files.

Seidel was released on his own recognizance while he awaits trial, according to court records. He is not allowed to have contact with any minors or possess devices that can connect to the internet.

Seidel’s trial is currently scheduled to begin on May 24.

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