Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Robert Fenn, 27, of Herndon, a former teacher at Poplar Tree Elementary School, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges of child pornography.
Police said after Fenn's arrest in June that he worked at the school as a special education teacher for students in kindergarten through third grade. No school equipment or students at the school were involved, Fairfax County Police said at the time.
Fenn was indicted on one count of receipt of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; and one count of possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.
The former teacher was allegedly identified by authorities through an international initiative named Operation Gondola. The operation originated with Italian law enforcement, who investigated a website offering access to child pornographic images and/or video files identified by the domain name “liberalmorality.com.”
The website was hosted in the United States. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit obtained Internet records showing each Internet account that accessed the website and the specific images each account accessed.
Court records allege that Fenn was among those who accessed the website. A search of his computer at his home in Herndon found numerous videos and images of children enduring various forms of sexual abuse, according to today's news release from the Justice Department.
The indictment specifically alleges that Fenn received child pornography from March 3—6, 2012, and that investigators found he possessed child pornography on June 12, 2012.
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