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Pinellas elementary teacher arrested on child porn charges

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 08:17 AM

A teacher at a Pinellas Park elementary school was arrested today on child pornography charges, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

John M. Kaneski, 42, 2164 Edythe Drive, Dunedin, was arrested on 10 counts of possession of sexual performance by a child. Additional charges are possible, deputies said.

The arrest of Kaneski, who teaches English as a second language at Cross Bayou Elementary School, results from an undercover Internet investigation into child pornography. The investigation began Nov. 19.

Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit identified Kaneski as a suspect, then obtained and served a search warrant at his home, where he lives with his wife and two children..

Kaneski’s home computer was found to contain multiple images and videos of children performing sexual acts, and detectives said Kaneski admitted to downloading it.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at this point there's no proof Kaneski produced any of the child porn, but he finds the case highly troubling because the teacher had access to hundreds of students during his time in the classroom.

"This is absolutely atrocious," Gualtieri said. "This is a great threat to public safety. It's a great threat to our kids. It's a great threat to our society and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is going to do everything it can and we're not going to tolerate this."

In 2005, Kaneski worked at Curlew Creek Elementary when an 8-year-old student accused him of sexually assaulting her, News Channel 8 is reporting. The girl later changed her story and Kaneski was never charged.

The sheriff said today, however, that they’ve learned of another allegation of abuse coming from another child against Kaneski, and they're investigating her claims.

Kaneski is at the Pinellas County Jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bail, according to jail records.

 

 


News Channel 8 reporter Melissa Beckman contributed to this report.

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