Advertisement

Drugs and alcohol reportedly used by ex-teacher to coerce former student into producing child pornography, federal officials say

Drugs and alcohol reportedly used by ex-teacher to coerce former student into producing child pornography, federal officials say
Sean David Sigler, a former fifth-grade teacher at Bret Harte Elementary in Burbank, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday for allegedly producing pornographic images of a former student when she was 15. (Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

A Burbank man and former elementary school teacher was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday for allegedly producing pornographic images of a former student when she was 15 years old.

The 11-count indictment charged 53-year-old Sean David Sigler with obtaining custody and control of a minor with intent to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography. He was previously charged with production of child pornography, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Advertisement

According to a sworn statement from Sandra Cornils, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the now 17-year-old victim met Sigler when he was her fifth-grade teacher at Gardner Street Elementary School in Los Angeles.

When the girl moved on from elementary school, she remained in touch with the teacher, even helping out in his classroom.

Advertisement

“He took steps to befriend her and other members of her family,” Cornils said. “[She] and Sigler began spending time together outside of the classroom.”

The two reportedly began having sex when the girl was 15 years old. Sigler used a ride-sharing service to bring the girl to his home, allegedly gave her alcohol until she became intoxicated and then raped her, according to Cornils.

She said Sigler did this several more times over a 15-month period. He would also film and photograph the sexual encounters, she said.

Sigler was arrested by the Burbank Police Department in January after the girl came forward about the inappropriate sexual contact. Cornils said Sigler admitted to investigators to having an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl.

Advertisement

He also told police that he did film his encounters with the girl but had deleted the images after taking them.

However, that was not the case.

A search of Sigler’s electronic devices uncovered more than 350,000 images and videos, many of which included photographs of students in grade school. The devices also contained more than 6,000 images of child pornography featuring children as young as 5 years old.

Cornils said at least 600 of the recovered images and videos featured his former student. One video featured the girl appearing intoxicated and slurring her words.

Images of another girl Sigler taught at Gardner were found on his devices, some of which featured her face superimposed on pornographic images of the first victim.

Sigler worked as a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District from March 1998 to June 2016. He then went on to teach fifth grade for the Burbank Unified School District at Bret Harte Elementary.

He was placed on leave by the district when he was first arrested but has since been let go, according to Sharon Cuseo, Burbank Unified assistant superintendent.

Sigler remains in federal custody.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement