Stories posted are written by National news Journalists, not by this blog.
Our Blog Tips

Top Provo teacher dies, subject of child porn probe

Police investigation is clearly faulty, they never proved any of Zimmerman's equipment contained anything illegal. Checked for police reports in 2015, none found. Sad case!

8-15-2012 Utah:

PROVO -- An award-winning Provo elementary school teacher who died over the weekend remains the subject of a child pornography investigation.

According to sources close to the investigation, Amelia Earhart Elementary fifth-grade teacher Jason Zimmerman is being investigated for downloading numerous files suspected of containing child pornography. Sources have confirmed that a search warrant was issued and that Zimmerman's computer has been sent to an out-of-state forensic lab for analysis. Officials do not yet know if the suspected child pornography depicts any local victims.

Zimmerman died last week at his father's home in Idaho, a number of weeks after the search warrant was served, but the investigation into what is on his computer continues. Details regarding Zimmerman's death were not immediately available Wednesday and no official statement had been released by local police.

Wednesday evening, the school held a meeting focusing on helping children deal with grief. During the meeting, Provo School District superintendent Keith Rittel stated that he read the information the Daily Herald reported earlier in the evening and that the information was consistent with the district's understanding of the situation. Rittel also said that as of 2 p.m. Monday the investigation into Zimmerman had not uncovered anything "that would result in charges," though Rittel acknowledged that the investigation was unfinished. In addition, school officials do not know the official cause of Zimmerman's death.

"I have received no definitive information about how this man died," Rittel said.

Officials at Wednesday's meeting -- which took place in the school's gym -- also provided a sign-up sheet for parents interested in talking to the police. After the meeting, a group of parents clustered around the sign-up sheet, adding their names. Among them was Veronica Halversen. She said she was hoping to get answers about what happened.

Halversen added that her son was in Zimmerman's class two years ago and that at the time Zimmerman was a well-liked teacher.

"He was really strict and really hard but all the kids loved him," she said.

Minutes earlier, Pam Romero also signed up to hear more while saying that Zimmerman had been an excellent teacher.

"I'd rather be able to tell my child what I know for sure," she explained of her decision to talk to police.

In the meantime, school officials were focused on helping the students cope with losing a teacher. Associate superintendent Greg Hudnall spent most of the meeting outlining strategies for explaining death to young children and answering questions about what students will be told. He also introduced a crisis team that had been organized to help parents and students deal with Zimmerman's death.

"The goal is to provide as much support as possible to help parents help their children," he said after the meeting.

Before joining Amelia Earhart Elementary, Zimmerman taught at Sunset View Elementary. In 2006, he won the Milken National Educator Award and in 2004 was Provo School District's Teacher of the Year. ..Source.. by Jim Dalrymple


Warrant details child porn probe into Provo teacher


Computer equipment registered to an award-winning Provo elementary school teacher was used to download tens of thousands of child porn files, according to a search warrant obtained by Orem police.

The warrant was issued in July and targets former Amelia Earhart fifth-grade teacher Jason Zimmerman, who died last week at his father's home in Idaho. Over the course of more than 20 pages, the warrant details an investigation that began in January when officers discovered that someone was downloading child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing network. According to the warrant, police traced 1,538 files with names indicating child pornography to a specific piece of computer equipment, identified by an IP address.

Police also traced a second address that had downloaded 808 files suspected of containing child pornography. According to the warrant, both batches of downloads were carried out by someone using the same unique computer identifiers

In March, police searched the Provo home where some of the downloads appeared to have occurred. When police arrived at the residence, however, they discovered that it was the site of an unprotected wireless network and that "anyone within range of the wireless signal could access the Internet."

"Prior to the service of the warrant, it would have been impossible to know the suspect in this investigation was not an occupant of the residence," the warrant continues.

The owner of the wireless network later protected it with a password and the downloads from that address stopped, the warrant states.

But in May, police noticed new child pornography downloads. A subsequent investigation revealed that between April and May someone "downloaded 35,602 video and image files of suspected child pornography."

By June 1, the investigation had traced the downloads to equipment, again identified by an IP address, located in Zimmerman's home. The warrant adds that Zimmerman lived "easily within range of the previously unsecured wireless Internet access."

The search warrant was issued July 25 and allowed authorities to seize an array of electronic equipment from Zimmerman's residence. A three-and-a-half-page list of seized items attached to the warrant includes iPods, memory cards, hard drives, laptops and numerous other electronic items.

The search warrant also includes graphic descriptions of the child pornography police tracked electronically during the investigation. Over more than three pages, it describes numerous files depicting prepubescent boys engaged in various sexually explicit activities. Other files reportedly depicted sexual encounters between adults and young boys and girls.

However, the warrant does not include information on the status of the investigation or what, if anything, investigators actually found on Zimmerman's electronic devices.

Thursday afternoon, Provo Sgt. Brandon Post confirmed that the investigation was ongoing and that at least some of Zimmerman's seized property had been sent to an out-of-state forensics lab for analysis

Post said that in light of Zimmerman's death charges against him obviously wouldn't be filed, but officers nevertheless planned to complete the investigation. "We have no evidence that he was engaged in illegal activity that would impact anyone locally," Post added.

Speaking generally, Post also encouraged anyone who is the victim of any crime to always contact police.

Post also said officers may be meeting with parents of students at Amelia Earhart Elementary. During a meeting on grief Wednesday night, school district officials briefly mentioned the investigation into Zimmerman and provided a sign-up sheet for parents who wanted to talk to police. Many parents put their names on the list, though most praised Zimmerman and explained that they simply wanted to better understand the facts.

Post said he didn't know if a specific date or time had been chosen to meet with parents.

The Bonner County Coroner, which is investigating Zimmerman's death, did not return the Daily Herald's phone calls Thursday and has not released an official statement on the case. The Bonner County Sheriff's Department also could not provide additional information about Zimmerman's death. ..Source.. by Jim Dalrymple

No comments: