O.C. Teacher Charged With Possessing Child Porn

Times Staff Writer

A San Juan Capistrano man who as recently as two months ago taught math at an Anaheim junior high school has been charged with possessing and transporting child pornography, authorities said Thursday.

Michael Timothy Arnold, 44 -- who taught at Orangeview Junior High School -- has been held without bail at a federal prison on Terminal Island since Aug 4. Customs officials said they had discovered hundreds of illegal images in luggage he was carrying when he returned to Los Angeles International Airport on July 17 from a three-week trip to the Philippines.

“It’s the classic story,” said David Nehls, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent overseeing the case. “He appeared to be nervous and anxious” and “when asked what company he worked for, he said he couldn’t remember. That raised the level of suspicion.”

Nehls said the luggage contained several compact discs, a laptop computer and other electronic equipment containing hundreds of digital images depicting girls who appeared as young as 5 -- most of whom appeared to be Filipino -- engaged in various sex acts with adults.


“We’re talking about some very young girls,” Nehls said.

A public defender assigned to the case could not be reached for comment.

Arnold is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Tuesday. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison, officials said.