Teacher charged in child porn case | AspenTimes.com

Teacher charged in child porn case

Joel Stonington

Mark Fox/The Aspen Times file

Aspen drama teacher Bradford Moore, 48, turned himself in Wednesday on a felony charge of possession of child pornography.Moore has worked for the Aspen School District for 11 years as the theater manager and drama teacher at the high school and middle school. He has been on leave since September, when the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation by seizing his personal computer. “I have been advised not to talk about it, so that’s how we’ll leave it,” Moore said.Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office seized Moore’s home computer Sept. 14 during a search, according to court documents. The Aspen School District allowed police to examine two computers Moore used as well.

There is no evidence of any illegal actions by Moore with students, staff or anyone else in the community, said Pitkin County Juvenile Investigator Bruce Benjamin. “We immediately wanted the school district’s computers and equipment to be part of the investigation and were relieved there was nothing on any of those,” said Aspen School District Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko. She sent a letter explaining the situation to parents Wednesday afternoon, saying counselors would be on hand.”This will be a shock to our students, staff, and community,” Sirko wrote in the letter. “Brad taught students in grades 5-12, but almost all of our students know him because of his extensive work with the District Theater. Please support your child in helping him or her discuss the situation.”Moore was advised Wednesday in 9th District Court of the felony charge of sexual exploitation of children. Assistant district attorney Gail Nichols said Moore faces a possible prison sentence of two to six years and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000. If convicted, he would have to register as a sex offender. He was released because, Nichols said, there was no reason believe Moore would not appear when called to court.On Oct. 30, the Rocky Mountain Computer Forensic Laboratory sent Benjamin disks containing 119 still photos, 40 video files, 47 webcam still images and 87 cartoons – many of which depicted incest – that had been retrieved from Moore’s home computer. “Although I’ve been able to determine that none of the images are of anyone local, the investigation is continuing to try to identify where the images were from, where the kids are and if they are still being victimized,” Benjamin said, adding that more than 110 of the still images depicted sexual acts with children.

“Most children pictured were of a pre-pubescent maturity, under 12 years of age,” Benjamin wrote in court documents. “Of the children in the photos, fewer than five were males, with the rest being female.”The search warrant and search warrant affidavit are under seal, although Benjamin did say the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation started one day before the search warrant was served. “The activity outlined in the affidavit had nothing to do with school or employment at the school,” Benjamin said. “The images involved are commercial material from the Internet.”Though Moore later admitted to saving child pornography on his computer for the past six months, according to documents, he originally denied he had any illegal photos.”I don’t think there’s anything on the computer,” Moore said in an interview before being served with a search warrant, according to court documents.

Of the same conversation, Benjamin wrote, “Mr. Moore stated definitively that he never saved any pictures involving child pornography on his computer.”Moore is an award-winning director and theater manager. According to school employees, there have not been any complaints about Moore with regard to children. “Brad’s worked for the district for 11 years and is well-regarded by staff and students,” Sirko said, adding that it was tough to fill his shoes. “We’ve had a sub for the theater classes part. We’ve been working with people from the theater groups to help us through the manager part.”Moore is co-founder and current president of Aspen Stage, a blanket organization that presents a variety of local productions. He is also on the boards of both Aspen Community Theatre and the Colorado Community Theatre Coalition.Moore, who was born in Denver, is divorced and has one child. He taught in the Aspen area for six years before moving to Southern California in the late 1980s. There, he started a musical theater school for kids, a performing arts school for adults, and an in-school program that brought inner-city kids to listen to and see actors. Moore also toured as musical director of the International Children’s Choir. He has been teaching in Aspen since 1995. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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