Vancouver teacher arrested on child porn charge

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver Public Schools teacher suspected of possessing child pornography is facing federal criminal charges.

Jay Michaud was arrested Monday and has been charged in U.S. District Court for allegedly downloading child pornography from a hidden online network.

Patricia Nuzzo, the district’s communications director, said Michaud is a teacher on special assignment in the district’s administrative offices. He trains other staff members on how to work with students on positive behavior. Michaud has worked for the district in several different capacities for about 20 1/2 years, including teaching special education at Gaiser Middle School.

Michaud has been placed and will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the charges against him, Nuzzo said.

In his report, an FBI special agent said an online user named, Pewter, later identified as Michaud, had signed up to the child pornography network at the end of October. The agent said only those who know of the network’s existence can access it, adding that it requires special computer software, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Statistics on the user’s profile showed he had been actively logged into the website for a total of 99 hours between Oct. 31 and March 2. During that time, Michaud allegedly viewed 187 “threads,” most of which related to child pornography, court records said.

Investigators captured the user’s IP address in February during a login session in which he allegedly viewed a post containing a downloadable link. The agents were able to determine the Internet service associated with the IP address and traced it back to Michaud and his previous residence, court documents state.

In June, investigators requested additional information from the Internet provider and discovered Michaud had disconnected the account at his previous address on May 8 and transferred it to his most recent residence, the affidavit says. It was at that time that the agents discovered Michaud was employed with Vancouver Public Schools.

Investigators served a search warrant Friday at Michaud’s residence at an apartment complex in the 5000 block of Northeast 121st Avenue in Vancouver. The agents seized a thumb drive that allegedly contained multiple pornographic images, including some that showed infants being raped, court records said.

Nuzzo said Michaud, like all district employees, underwent a background check before he was hired. He had no criminal history.

“District administrators have had no complaints about Mr. Michaud’s work conduct,” she said. “Vancouver Public Schools will cooperate fully with federal and local law authorities.”

Michaud remains in federal custody.

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