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  1. #1
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    CA - Arrested Official Had Prior Case

    Child porn allegations against a Calimesa councilman follow his suspension from teaching in O.C. over porn found at school.
    By Lance Pugmire and Seema Mehta
    Times Staff Writers

    October 21, 2005

    A Calimesa city councilman arrested this week on suspicion of possessing child pornography had been suspended from his job as a teacher in Orange County in 2000 for allegedly downloading pornography on a public school computer, state records show.

    Jonathan L. Winningham, 49, was placed on unpaid leave from Santa Ana's Santiago Creek continuation school after a computer technician found sexually explicit photographs of men and women on his school computer, as well as e-mails about "adult activities," according to officials with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Orange County Board of Education.

    Winningham, 49, had taught a variety of subjects to middle school and high school students at the school from 1986 to 2000.

    The councilman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography after Riverside County Sheriff's investigators, acting on a tip from two unnamed witnesses, searched his Calimesa home and confiscated three computers.

    Investigators are trying to determine whether the pictures are of local children or whether they were downloaded from an Internet child porn database, said Ingrid Wyatt, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County district attorney.

    On Thursday, Winningham said he was weighing whether to step down from the council in this small Riverside County city, and he declined to answer questions about the allegations. Willingham served two terms as mayor of Calimesa during his 13 years on the City Council.

    "I haven't resigned yet," Winningham said in a telephone interview from his home. "I'm discussing it with my wife and my attorney."

    Meanwhile, the councilman was removed Thursday as president of a local children's theater troupe, Yucaipa Little Theatre. Daren Prescott, chairman of the theater's board of directors, said he had taken over Winningham's responsibilities. Winningham's children, ages 18 and 12, are actors in the troupe, Prescott said.

    SNIP:
    In August 2000, while Winningham was working at the Santiago Creek school, a technician fixing a problem with Winningham's school computer reportedly discovered the pornographic photographs, and further inspection was done.

    "The systems administrator found numerous sexually explicit, nude photographs of men and women on [Winningham's] computer," Sam W. Swofford, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, wrote during the investigation. The images "were found in cache files, two of which were entitled 'Jon at work,' and 'Jon Winningham.' … There were 120 to 150 images in each cache."

    Calimesa Mayor Shenna Moqeet and Councilman John Chlebnik said they were content to let Winningham decide his own fate as a council member, as long as he wasn't convicted. The city of about 7,500 is 22 miles northeast of Riverside.

    "The decision he has to make is by himself," Chlebnik said. "He was duly elected, he has not been convicted of anything, and he's a member in good standing on the council.

    REST OF STORY:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me calimesa21oct21,1,7616228.story?coll=la-editions-orange

  2. #2
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    I think it is great that these porn sites are being found out by officials and those responsible are being charged. It is only one step away from an actual molestation if it hadn't already occurred. The FBI is doing an awesome job on this fact finding mission.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by concernedperson
    I think it is great that these porn sites are being found out by officials and those responsible are being charged. It is only one step away from an actual molestation if it hadn't already occurred. The FBI is doing an awesome job on this fact finding mission.
    I sure agree CP.

    The part that upset me was the Calimesa Mayor and Councilman are "content"to let him decide his fate as a council member

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom'sGirl
    I sure agree CP.

    The part that upset me was the Calimesa Mayor and Councilman are "content"to let him decide his fate as a council member
    I don't think he will have that choice. Then the powers that be will have to answer to the public.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by concernedperson
    I don't think he will have that choice. Then the powers that be will have to answer to the public.
    We have a member here at WS WHO I THINK may live in Calimesa and I'm curious as to how the people of such a small town feel about him remaining as Councilman



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