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UPDATED: Newton Elementary School Teacher Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

David Ettlinger has been held on $10,000 cash bail and held on another case out of West Roxbury District Court.

Updated 5:30 p.m. 

An teacher has been arrested for possession of child pornography, Superintendent David Fleishman reported in a press conference this afternoon. 

David Ettlinger, 34, of Brighton, was arrested at home this morning and pleaded not guilty this afternoon in Brighton District Court on two counts of possession of child pornography. 

"It's so sad, so upsetting on so many levels," Fleishman said in a press conference this afternoon. "Our concern right now is for the Underwood community,”

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, prosecutors recommended $250,000 cash bail but Ettlinger was held on $10,000 cash bail on this case and held without bail on a related warrant out of West Roxbury District Court, police said. 

According to Fleishman, Ettlinger has been a teacher in Newton for 12 years; he was hired as a second grade teacher at  Elementary School and since then has taught both second and third grade at Underwood. This year, Ettlinger had 27 students in his second grade classroom and was the advisor to the school's recycling program.

Ettlinger's last day in the school was Friday, Jan. 13, as he did not arrive at school this morning. He is currently on paid administrative leave and a substitute teacher has been put in his place.

The superintendent said he first found out about the case after Newton Police notified him by phone this morning. 

Ettlinger was arrested this morning at his Commonwealth Avenue home after a search warrant was executed. That search led to the recovery of numerous image files depicting children under 18 in sexualized contexts, the DA's office said today. 

Within those files are images of a 12-year-old girl who is not a student in Newton, but a family friend. Ettlinger will be arraigned in West Roxbury District Court tomorrow on charges related to these images, the DA's office said, including indecent assault and battery on a child and posing a child in the state of nudity.

The judge also ordered Ettlinger have no contact with that child or her family while his case is pending.

According to CBS Boston, authorities also found several pairs of young girls' underwear Ettlinger had taken from public areas. 

Fleishman said Ettlinger was a "well respected" employee in the Newton schools and was "very thorough" with his CORI checks. Ettlinger's most recent CORI check was conducted last year and showed no issues, Fleishman said.

Crisis counselors are currently working with students, Fleishman said, and administrators will be sending a note to parents about the incident. 

"As you can imagine, this is an incredibly upsetting incident," Fleishman said at a press conference this afternoon.

Mayor Setti Warren issued a statement this afternoon on the incident, underlining the importance of student safety in Newton.

"Our first priority is ensuring the safety of every child. If these allegations prove to be true, the suspect detained should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The type of behavior that is alleged has absolutely no place in our community," Warren said in the statement. 

Fleishman also issued a letter this evening to parents and the community regarding Ettlinger's charges. 

"As you can imagine, this news is very difficult for everyone in the Underwood and the broader Newton community to absorb. We want to do everything possible to provide support to the Underwood students, staff and families," Fleishman said in the statement. 

A full copy of the superintendent's letter is available in the .pdf section to the right. 

Ettlinger's next court date in Brighton District Court is scheduled for Feb. 16. He is expected to be back in West Roxbury District Court on Feb. 17.

Any parents with information on the case should report that information to the schools or the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

Choo Choo January 18, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Twelve years is an awful long time to go undetected. Kudos to the police who nabbed the bum!
mamaluke January 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM
agreed...a sick man

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