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Riverside school counselor arrested for child porn charges in Fontana

  • Matthew Daniel Johnson, 30, is charged with having over 600 images of child pornography.
  • The suspect was a School Counselor at La Sierra Academy in the City of Riverside.
  • Detectives served a search warrant at La Sierra Academy and discovered further evidence of child exploitation.

FONTANA, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A 30-year-old counselor at a school in Riverside was arrested by Fontana Police Department detectives on child pornography charges on March 4, 2020.

Through investigation, detectives from the Fontana Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force discovered Matthew Daniel Johnson was downloading and distributing child pornography over the internet, officials said.

On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, a search warrant was served at Johnson’s residence in the 25200 block of Taylor Street in the City of Loma Linda.

“During the search warrant, Detectives seized multiple electronic devices. Evidence relating to the downloading and distribution of child pornography was located. Many of the images and videos depicted prepubescent boys,” stated a news release.

Detectives from the Fontana Police Department discovered Johnson was a School Counselor at La Sierra Academy in the City of Riverside. “Fontana Police Department Detectives served a search warrant at La Sierra Academy and discovered further evidence of child exploitation,” stated the release.

The Riverside Police Department issued a press release Thursday night and released additional details into the ongoing investigation.

According to the release, “investigators discovered he used a hidden device to secretly record young boys in a restroom at the school. A search warrant was served at the school where additional evidence was seized that corroborated these allegations against Mr. Johnson.”

At this point, it is still unknown how many students were captured on these hidden recordings, and investigators are currently working to identify them. The children were not aware they were being recorded by Mr. Johnson, officials said.

School officials with the La Sierra Academy have been fully cooperating with the investigations. “We are shocked, horrified, and saddened by what this investigation has already revealed. Based on these developments, we immediately terminated Matthew Johnson. My heart is broken. We love the children and their families that we serve. Their safety and well-being is our highest priority,” said Elizabeth Munoz Beard, head principal of La Sierra Academy.

Mr. Johnson was arrested by Fontana Police and booked into the San Bernardino County Central Detention Center for Possession of Child Pornography and Possession of over 600 images of Child Pornography. Johnson was booked at West Valley Detention Center and his bail is set at $100,000 .

The investigation into the hidden recording device at the school is still ongoing by the Riverside Police Department’s Sexual Assault – Child Abuse (SACA) Unit and there are no further details to release at this time.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Detective Christi Arnold of the Riverside Police Department 951 353-7945 or e-mail at carnold@riversideca.gov

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