Former Ashburton Teacher Gets Probation for Possessing Child Porn

Former Ashburton Teacher Gets Probation for Possessing Child Porn

Dartouzos to register as sex offender

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Daemon Dartouzos

Photo via Montgomery County Police

A former Ashburton Elementary School teacher was sentenced on Wednesday to five years of probation after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

As part of a plea deal, Daemon Dartouzos, of Germantown, will not face jail time after prosecutors say he purchased pornographic pictures and videos involving minors online. Dartouzos, 55, worked for Montgomery County Public Schools from 1991 to early 2018.

He was arrested and charged by local police with 10 counts of possessing child pornography after a two-year FBI investigation. He agreed to a deal with prosecutors in July to plead guilty to one count and have the rest of the charges dismissed.

The plea agreement, accepted by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David Lease, says Dartouzos will receive no jail time due to “issues” with the FBI investigation. Neither attorneys nor Lease elaborated on what the issues were, but said the FBI chose not to charge Dartouzos with any crimes.

Also as part of his sentence, Dartouzos was ordered to register as a sex offender for 15 years, attend therapy and have no contact with minors. He is not allowed to possess any pornography. Probation officers are allowed to monitor his activity on electronic devices.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Dartouzos answered a handful of “yes” or “no” questions that Lease asked. When asked if he wanted to make any statements to the court before sentencing, Dartouzos declined.

The investigation into Dartouzos began in 2014, when electronic money transfer service Xoom notified web provider Yahoo that several accounts were involved in the sale of child exploitation materials, according to court documents.

The Yahoo team conducted an internal investigation and discovered multiple “Seller” accounts related to facilitating the trafficking of child pornography operating from the Philippines, according to charging documents. This led to the discovery of several “Buyer” accounts known to have purchased images, videos or live streams of child sexual abuse from the seller accounts.

In October 2017, the FBI obtained the information about the seller accounts through a federal search warrant and began reviewing chat correspondences between users, according to charging documents.

One “Buyer” account was linked to Dartouzos, and when FBI officials searched his home, they found multiple electronic devices with a total of 10 digital files depicting young females performing sexual acts.

Montgomery County police have said that no MCPS students were in the images found on the devices.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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