School volunteer charged over child-porn video
Police in Denmark and Australia aided in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of the former PTA president at Belfair Elementary School on charges of producing and obtaining child pornography.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Police in Denmark and Australia joined forces with the FBI to track down and arrest a volunteer at a Mason County elementary school for allegedly posting videos of him having sex with an 8-year-old girl, including sex acts apparently performed inside the school.
David Michael Navarro, 37, was charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court last week, and appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Tacoma on Monday, who ordered him detained.
According to the complaint, police in Australia and Denmark were attempting to identify the victim in a series of videos that had begun appearing on websites that cater to child pornography.
One of the videos was apparently shot with an iPhone 5, and a detective from the Danish National Police was able to cull GPS data from the video that indicated it had been taken at or near the Belfair Elementary School on the Kitsap Peninsula. The video apparently was taken this past May, according to court documents.
The Danish police posted the information on an Interpol site that was used by police in Queensland, Australia, to identified additional videos. The Danish police were able to determine the child victim’s first name and that she was 8 years old, according to the complaint.
The Australians were able to identify an email address, which was used by the FBI to identify Navarro. A counselor at the school last week identified the young girl as a Belfair student from a “sanitized” photograph taken from one of the videos.
According to a statement from the North Mason School District, Navarro was the past president of the school’s Parent-Teachers Association. The school said it had not heard about the investigation until the arrest.
District Superintendent David Peterson said Navarro was a school volunteer who had passed a background check and that no red flags had been raised.
The complaint mentions that Navarro was arrested in May 2009 by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office on charges of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, but that the charges were dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence.
Peterson said Navarro, like other volunteers, had access to a key to the school. A statement posted on the school district’s website said that “nothing in the investigation indicates that the school should have been aware of or taken action in this case.”
Navarro is set to have a preliminary hearing in federal court in Tacoma on Sept. 9 unless the grand jury indicts him before then.
Mike Carter: email@example.com or 206-464-3706