Former Newton elementary school teacher David Ettlinger will likely soon be heading to Louisiana to face federal charges related to his alleged involvement in a global child pornography network.
The federal case against Ettlinger, who has until now faced a series of state assault and child pornography charges against three young girls, ramped up Tuesday.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office agreed to reduce Ettlinger's bail Tuesday morning and allow federal officials to take him into their custody. Ettlinger is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court later Tuesday to face what amounts to an extradition hearing, said Christina Diiorio-Sterling, spokeswoman for the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Boston.
It isn't clear yet when Ettlinger will be moved to Louisiana.
Ettlinger, who taught in Newton public schools for 12 years, is accused of assaulting three different children and taping it. He has pleaded not guilty to all the state charges.
He was also targeted in a federal investigation of “Dreamboard,” an on-line bulletin board that promoted child pornography, according to federal court documents. He joined the board in 2009 and made 105 posts, the documents state.
Federal officials talked to state prosecutors before deciding to move forward with the federal charges first, Diiorio-Sterling said.
"We thought that was in the best interest of the case," she said.
On the federal charge of conspiracy to participate in a child exploitation enterprise, Ettlinger faces a minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life in prison, Diiorio-Sterling said.
The minimum sentence on the state charges is 15 years in prison.
In Louisiana, the case is also likely to draw less media attention for the Boston area victims and their families.
Fifty-two of the 72 people swept up in the federal investigation into the Dreamboard website have pleaded guilty, Diiorio-Sterling said.
All of those who have been sentenced have received a term of 20 years or more.
Some cases are still ongoing, other suspects remain at large, she said.
Ettlinger will be brought back to Maasachusetts to face charges here after the federal case is resolved, likely in several months, said Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Deakin.
Greg Johnson, Ettlinger's attorney, said his client is hoping for a global resolution to all the state and federal charges.
Ettlinger is looking at, "what's going to minimize the prison time," Johnson said.