PARK CITY, Utah -- A Park City elementary school teacher has been fired and arrested for allegedly possessing and uploading child pornography videos.
Jose Maria Ardanaz Ezcurdia, 31, taught second grade dual immersion at Parley Park Elementary in Park City. Police said he was also a Boy Scout leader.
Ezcurdia is from Spain and has taught in Utah for three years on a work visa. But in May, court documents indicate he, "uploaded a video file to tinypic.com which was flagged as child pornography... This was initiated by Photobucket and sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who in turn sent the complaint to the Utah ICAC Task Force."
Over the weekend, police raided and searched Ardanaz-Ezcurdia's Park City condo while he was out of the country. Cops said they found a thumb drive with five child porn videos, all depicting elementary-age boys engaged in sex acts. But the school district said school computers were not involved and there doesn’t appear to be any local victims.
Dr. Ember Conley, superintendent for Park City School District, spoke about the findings.
"All the evidence shows there hasn't been any interaction with our children, which is our first and foremost concern,” Conley said. “The second thing is that it was all done on personal devices, and we've gone through and checked anything that was district property and everything has checked out completely with what we would describe as within the range of what employees can use computers for.”
District officials said Ezcurdia passed criminal background checks through the consulate in Spain and with the state office in Utah. There were no signs of a prior criminal record, district officials said.
Ezcurdia now faces five felony charges for sexual exploitation of a minor. He was booked into the Summit County Jail but was released after posting $100,000 bond.
He’s due back in state court August 25, and the spokesperson for the Utah Attorney General’s Office said the allegations will be changed to federal charges since Ezcurdia is not a U.S. citizen.