Parents kept unaware of child porn investigation

(KGO)
May 31, 2012 4:34:48 PM PDT
Some San Jose parents are angry they were not told about police interviewing their children at school. The interviews were part of the child pornography investigation of a former teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School. He was suspended last year and later arrested.

Fifty-year-old Johnny Urias was arrested Wednesday at his San Jose residence, on suspicion of possessing and manufacturing child pornography. He was suspended from his job as a third-grade teacher at Will Rogers last September when police in Milpitas, where he used to live, collected evidence and sent it to a forensic lab.

"We got the results a couple of weeks ago here in May, at which point there was enough evidence to make an arrest," Officer Trish Young-Orth said. San Jose police then interviewed 30 students and they plan to talk to more, but parents were not notified beforehand. "What upsets me is our kids are getting pulled out of the classroom, getting interviewed by detectives and as a parent, I feel I have a legal right to know what's going on with my child," parent Alberto Rodriguez told ABC7 News.

The Alum Rock District sent a letter home Thursday saying San Jose police directed them not to tell parents. "The district was asked not to release the fact that officers would be at Will Rogers Elementary School this week until after all interviews had been conducted," Superintendent Jose Manzo said.

"Why weren't we notified? I should have been notified, as a parent. Even a criminal has a right to have someone with them when they're getting interviewed by police. Why didn't my daughter?" parent Patricia Flores asks.

The San Jose Unified School District confirms that it is perfectly legal for police to interview students without notifying parents if police believe that might jeopardize the case. "If there's any type of suspected child abuse or sexual abuse going on at home, then we do have to get parental consent to interview the students, but this is not that case," Sgt. Jason Dwyer explained.

Urias could be arraigned Friday.


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