A former Burbank elementary school teacher pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to making pornographic images and videos of two girls who were students of his when he taught in Los Angeles.
Sean David Sigler, 55, agreed with federal prosecutors back in August to plead guilty to two counts of producing child pornography. According to a copy of the plea agreement, each count carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.
Sigler was arrested by the Burbank Police Department back in January 2018 after a former student came forward with allegations that he had been in an inappropriate sexual relationship with her since she was 15.
At the time of his arrest, Sigler taught fifth grade in the Burbank Unified School District at Bret Harte Elementary. He was eventually let go by the district sometime last year.
While he initially denied engaging in any type of inappropriate behavior with the student, federal prosecutors detailed how Sigler first met the now-19-year-old when she was a fifth-grade student at Gardner Street Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Sigler befriended the girl and remained in touch with her after she left Gardner Elementary.
Sandra Cornils, a federal agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said in a sworn statement that Sigler went to great lengths to remain a part of the girl’s life and even gained the trust of her family.
Eventually he began raping his former student in September 2016 after using the ride-hailing app Uber to bring her to his home in Burbank. He would then ply her with alcohol and drugs, according to Cornils.
Sigler would do this to the girl multiple times over a 15-month period.
According to court documents, investigators found photographs and videos Sigler made from these encounters on his laptop. In at least one instance he engaged in sadomasochistic conduct with the girl.
Investigators also found a pornographic image Sigler had modified where he superimposed the face of another former student he taught at Gardner over the face of the first victim. She was also 15 at the time.
In addition to the images and videos of his former students, Sigler also possessed more than 5,000 additional images of child pornography on a separate desktop computer, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
At least one image showed a child under the age of 12.
Upon his release from prison, Sigler will be required to register as a sex offender and attend counseling sessions, according to the agreement. He also agreed to hand over $271,506 that he made from the sale of his home where the child pornography was produced to the government.
Sigler’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.