South Bay News
San Jose teacher arrested for possession of child porn
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A trusted teacher is arrested, accused of possessing and sharing, child pornography. San Jose police say Nathan Forstell taught in nearly a dozen schools, and is among the worst of the worst, based on the enormous number of pictures they found.
Forstell has been a substitute teacher in the Alum Rock Union School District for the past four years. Police say this man went out of his way to erase any trace of his name on the Internet. And he must have been confident about his anonymity because he was one of the more active child porn offenders online.
In a sting operation, police say they caught Forstell, 44, trying to share his pornographic files of children between 4 and 9 years of age.
"Most of the collections that we run into will average anywhere from 100-500 images," said San Jose Police Sgt. Greg Lombardo.
But detectives say Forstell had more than 1,000 pornographic video clips and images of children.
"There are so many suspects out there that are sharing child pornography that we actually just pick the worst of the worst," said Lombardo.
Forstell was arrested on Wednesday at Martin Luther King Jr. High, in the Monterey County community of Seaside, where he's been a teacher for only a month. But he spent the last four years substitute teaching in San Jose's Alum Rock School District.
"Whenever this happens, it's like a punch in the stomach," said Stephen Fiss, the Alum Rock Union School District superintendent.
Fiss says Forstell passed a background check. He taught at 11 of the district's 27 schools and prior to Alum Rock, he substitute taught for 13 years in New York, Florida and California.
"The greatest fear would be that this goes beyond just the possession of child pornography where he tried to influence students," said Fiss.
Forstell has been released without bail under supervised conditions.
ABC7 News has learned Forstell was taken to the hospital after attempting suicide at his home Thursday afternoon. Police responded to his home at 4:42 p.m. after receiving a report from a person living at the home who said Forstell appeared to be suffering from a medication overdose. He is expected to remain in the hospital on a 72-hour mental health hold.
"There's about 20 kids who hang around there and play. It's not good for the city though," said Armando Reyes, Forstell's neighbor.
A search of his home found no evidence to show Forstell was producing child porn, but now police want parents to find out if their children he may have victimized by him.
"I don't know. That's a hard one. I would not know how to talk to them about that, but I guess it has to be done," said Mario Mendoza, a parent.
With its limited resources the child exploit unit says it makes about two to three arrests a week. That's about 125 a year and they say that's just a fraction of the child porn offenders out there.
How to talk to your children about child abuse:
It is so difficult to talk to children about child abuse. You can call your local child abuse prevention center for advice. Also, we have a website for you called EnoughAbuse.org that offers tips on what to say.
Those with information about this case are urged to call San Jose police at (408) 537-1381. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867), or visit: www.svcrimestoppers.org.
san jose, alum rock, teachers, children, SJPD, child abuse, south bay news, alan wang
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