By Courtney Tubbs   |  09-24-2018   News
Photo credit: KSBY

In San Luis Obispo County, California - law enforcement agencies have brought 44 felony charges against an Atascadero Fine Arts Academy teacher.

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The teacher, who they say produced child pornography with a whopping 22 child students, is cured you walking free.

To make matters worse, parents, staff, and local authorities all believe 48-year-old Chris Lynn Berdoll may have committed similar atrocities against other children.

Being your <i>run of the mill pedophile,</i> Berdoll abused his role as an authority figure to first gain the trust of his sixth-grade students.

The Atascadero Unified School District says they first learned of Berdoll’s pedophilia from students, which prompted them to contact police.

Believing one of their own staff had sexually enticed let alone sexually exploited a child that parents trusted in their care was disturbing for the entire administration.

That's when the Atascadero Unified School District contacted police about “the possibility of a district teacher who had inappropriately video-recorded the undergarments of female students.”

School officials worst fears were confirmed again after the Atascadero police made the arrest earlier in September.

Atascadero Police Chief Jerel Haley said that the horrific crimes occurred this school year and a previous year, but didn't go into detail.

Detectives had received information purporting Berdoll having used a video camera to record “upskirt” the tiny girl's dresses in his classrooms.

Atascadero was then arrested for the suspicion of charges of sexual exploitation of a child, production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

After his arrest, authorities obtained a search warrant to further explore the electronics devices belonging to the pedophile teacher.

What they found inside would only further incriminate Berdoll, police said.

Cell phones, tablets, hard drives, and computers were all seized, each of which had countless files believed to contain child pornography.

The images suggesting that he, on repeat occasions, met with the children privately inside and outside the school, while police said that the videos and images did depict the children engaged in sexually suggestive mannerisms.

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Some of the young girls were unaware that Berdoll had even filmed them until authorities contacted their parents.

It's not believed that any of the children were forcefully molested, but as of this time, police cannot confirm this.

"The Atascadero Unified School District is committed to student safety and is thankful to the individuals who brought forward initial concerns and allegations about a staff member at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. These courageous individuals who "saw something and said something," allowed the District to take immediate action to ensure student safety.

The Atascadero Unified School District responds to all reports of alleged misconduct seriously and places student safety as our number one priority. In doing so, the District took immediate action by notifying the Atascadero Police Department and placing the employee on administrative leave to protect students, while conducting a thorough internal investigation. Should these allegations be confirmed, AUSD will pursue the termination of the employee. As an active investigation involving juvenile victims is currently ongoing, the District is unable to comment at this time.

As a commitment to the wellbeing of our students, additional counseling services are available. AUSD believes that the safety of our students, staff, and community is paramount and works diligently to make certain that safety remains first and foremost."

Atascadero District Superintendent, Thomas Butler

<blockquote>The Atascadero Unified School District is committed to student safety and is thankful to the individuals who brought forward initial concerns and allegations about a staff member at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. These courageous individuals who "saw something and said something," allowed the District to take immediate action to ensure student safety.</blockquote>

<blockquote>The Atascadero Unified School District responds to all reports of alleged misconduct seriously and places student safety as our number one priority. In doing so, the District took immediate action by notifying the Atascadero Police Department and placing the employee on administrative leave to protect students, while conducting a thorough internal investigation. Should these allegations be confirmed, AUSD will pursue the termination of the employee. As an active investigation involving juvenile victims is currently ongoing, the District is unable to comment at this time.</blockquote>

<blockquote>As a commitment to the wellbeing of our students, additional counseling services are available. AUSD believes that the safety of our students, staff, and community is paramount and works diligently to make certain that safety remains first and foremost.</blockquote>

Superintendent Butler said Berdoll has been placed on administrative leave while he conducted an internal investigation.

Some parents are furious by the fact that Berdoll is on a paid administrative leave, with others demanding Butler's resignation as well for his perceived ignorance.

“Should these allegations be confirmed, (the district) will pursue the termination of the employee,” Butler said in his half-cocked defense of a pedophile now accused of molesting children.

The conclusive results of the investigation suggest that twenty children have been victimized by Berdoll.

As of this time, the school district has refused to respond to any inquiries made by The Goldwater.

Berdoll was at first in the custody of the San Luis Obispo County Jail, in lieu of $35,000 bail, police said.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth confirmed that prosecutors have been in communication with the Atascadero Police Department.

The District Attorney's Office is still awaiting the final results of the Atascadero police investigation, which will determine if additional charges outside the 44 felony counts are brought against Bergdoll.

Officials say they have so far identified 20 child victims and a joint Atascadero Police-District Attorney’s Office investigation will continue until every child is identified.

Bergdoll faces 24 felony counts of using children under the age of 18 to pose or model for the purpose of preparing photographs to depict child pornography. Then, he faces 20 felony counts for the possession of the child pornography.

The charges could return a sentence of 30 years imprisonment, if not more dependent on if the judge sentences him concurrent or consecutively.

A mother with a daughter in Berdoll's art class told <a href=http://www.ksby.com/story/39064929/atascadero-unified-teacher-accused-of-sexually-exploiting-students">local NBC affiliate KSBY News </a>she is “disgusted and appalled,” adding that the school district should have done more.

"You never think that it's going to happen to the school your kids go to. I guess you could say it's an unsettling feeling having your kid go to school," she said.

Several parents are considering a civil lawsuit against the district for their inability to protect the numerous child victims in this case.

A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge later approved a motion to increase Berdoll’s bail amount from $35,000 to $500,000, according to the District Attorney.

Even with the increase, Berdoll posted bail.

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Representing the child pornographic distribution-charged alleged pedophile is attorney Catherine Swysen.

Swysen has also declined to comment on the allegations because the case is pending, she said.

Police added that if anyone suspects their child may have been victimized, they are encouraged to contact the Atascadero Police Department or Curt Eichperger, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of the Atascadero Unified School District at 805-462-4200.

Additional Sources or Relevant Information:

https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/crime/article218834225.html

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2 Comment/s


DA No. 37884 1537797499

Pervs! Do ya think they release these idiots back into the streets on bail in hopes that they'll kill themselves? Why would we want someone like this in our streets? I don't get that

dumpski No. 37878 1537806768
Berdoll is on a paid administrative leave. Where are the protesters?
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