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Newton teacher joined child porn website in 2009, court documents allege

Posted by Your Town  January 20, 2012 11:53 AM

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The Underwood Elementary teacher who was arrested earlier this week on charges of sexually assaulting a minor and filming it had joined an international website that trafficked in child pornography in June 2009 and posted several graphic videos that earned him “VIP” status, according to federal court documents.

David Ettlinger, 34, of Allston made 105 posts on “Dreamboard” an on-line bulletin board that promoted child pornography, frequently visiting a section for videos of children under 13 years, the documents state.

David Yannetti, whose firm is representing Ettlinger, would not comment on the allegations outlined in the Louisiana court documents.

“We are going to investigate it and handle it in the appropriate way,” Yannetti said today.

Earlier this week, Ettlinger pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and posing a child in a state of nudity, in a West Roxbury District Court. He also pleaded not guilty to related charges of possession of child pornography in Brighton District Court.

Ettlinger was a second-grade teacher and had been employed with Newton Public Schools for 12 years. His students referred to him as Mr. E, but on Dreamboard he went by EE1, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Louisiana.

He participated in Dreamboard between June 2009 and August 2010, according to the documents.

Federal investigators tracked down Ettlinger using his computer Internet address in December 2010, the documents state.

Newton Schools Superintendent David Fleishman said he found out about the Ettlinger case on Tuesday morning when local police called him. Ettlinger appeared in Brighton District Court later that day. School officials now say they are moving to fire Ettlinger, who has been put on administrative leave.

Federal investigators launched the investigation into Dreamboard in December 2009. They describe it as a message board with about 600 members worldwide. Participants moved higher up in the membership hierarchy based on the number and frequency of their posts. Ettlinger had reached the second level, according to the documents.

Seventy-two people were initially charged with participating in Dreamboard last August, when federal authorities first announced the investigation.

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