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Former Newton teacher pleads guilty to federal child porn charges

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  August 15, 2012 12:45 PM

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A former Newton teacher pleaded guilty earlier today to federal felony charges related to his participation in a global child pornography network.

David Ettlinger pleaded guilty in a Louisiana federal court to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, his attorney Jennifer Culotta said.

He faces 20 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 29, Culotta said.

Ettlinger had been an elementary school teacher in Newton for 12 years until his arrest in January.

Ettlinger was among dozens of people caught up in an international investigation of Dreamboard, a child pornography online bulletin board, where participants had to post images to remain members.

Ettlinger’s arrest shocked Newton, where he was a popular teacher, and sparked some changes in the school district’s employee screening procedures.

Ettlinger will be sentenced on the federal charges at a later date.

He also faces state charges of alleged indecent assault on three girls. Prosecutors accuse Ettlinger of taping the incidents. None of the girls were his students. He had pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com

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