Former Park City teacher charged with possessing child pornography

By Rick Aaron

Published 08/13 2014 09:30PM

Updated 08/14 2014 12:16PM

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A former Park City elementary school teacher faces five charges of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor after Summit County Sherriff's deputies say they seized child pornography videos from his home.

Jose Maria Ardanaz Ezcurdia, 31, was a popular 2nd grade teacher and Spanish instructor at Parley's Park Elementary School - but the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip that he had posted a child porn clip on an internet video sharing service.

The Summit County Sheriff's Department got a search warrant and on Thursday, August 7th forced their way into his condominium, seized evidence which they describe as video files on a thumb drive. He was arrested August 9th and on Monday, August 11th, he was charged with five 2nd degree felony counts, one for each video file deputies found. The Spanish citizen, who is here on a student visa, was released on $100,000 bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for August 25th.

According to the charging documents, Mr. Ardanaz admitted to possessing and viewing the videos. Because of that confession, has been fired by the Park City School District.

There was no answer when an ABC4 reporter knocked on Ardanaz's front door Wednesday evening. Neighbors told ABC4 News that he was a beloved teacher and the leader of a local Boy Scout Troop.

Mr. Ardanaz was scheduled to teach 5th grade math at Parley's Park Elementary this year, meaning his students would have been the approximately the same age as some of the boys in the videos he's accused of owning.

He is not suspected of making any child porn videos or harming children in any way.

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