Teacher Indicted On Child Porn Charges

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A Massapequa High School physics teacher was indicted last week on charges of transportation and possession of child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Joseph Zanco had images and videos of child pornography in his Google account and various electronic devices. He was arrested and arraigned on Monday, Aug. 13.

“As alleged, Zanco possessed and transported hundreds of images of child pornography, crimes that contribute to the victimization of minor children, while he was employed in a position of trust as a teacher,” stated United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “The protection of innocent children is a priority for this office and our law enforcement partners. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that those who contribute to the victimization of children will be brought to justice.”

“This case is particularly troubling because the defendant allegedly committed these crimes while employed as a teacher,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez. “HSI actively works with our law enforcement partners in the shared fight against those who are engaged in the spread of this content, especially those who have been entrusted with the education of our youth.”

According to court filings, beginning on April 13, Zanco, a teacher at Massapequa High School, began uploading hundreds of images of child pornography to the Google Drive storage feature of his Google account. Google, in accordance with its policies and federal law, flagged these uploads, suspended Zanco’s account and notified law enforcement. Shortly after, law enforcement obtained search warrants for Zanco’s residence and his Google account. The search of Zanco’s Google account uncovered child pornography, and law enforcement found additional images and videos on his laptop computer, tablet and cell phone.

At his arraignment in federal court, Zanco was released on $300,000 bail. He was ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet and must refrain from using the Internet. In addition, he has been ordered to stay away from all minors, including his 6-year-old son, unless another adult is present.

If convicted of the transportation of child pornography count, Zanco faces a mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.

Zanco has been a teacher in the Massapequa School District since 2005. In a statement, Superintendent Lucille F. Iconis said the district takes the allegations against Zanco “very seriously as the safety and well-being of children are our paramount concern.”

“Please be advised that this individual is currently not reporting to work at Massapequa High School or at any other assignment within the district,” the statement went on to say. “Although I recognize that some in our community will have questions pertaining to this issue, I hope you can understand that as this is an active and ongoing legal matter, the district cannot provide further details. The district has and will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities in this matter.”

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