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Former East Bay Elementary School Teacher and Youth Swim Coach Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 30, 2012
  • Public Affairs Specialist Sharon Hadden (415) 553-7400

OAKLAND, CA—Alex Eye Bursch was sentenced Wednesday to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

After a one-day bench trial, Bursch was convicted by a judge on August 29, 2012, for possessing child pornography. During the trial, evidence showed that Bursch used peer-to-peer file-sharing software to share child pornography images via the Internet. Martinez police officers and Contra Costa sheriff’s deputies obtained a search warrant for Bursch’s home, where they found computers containing more child pornography images and videos. Bursch admitted to police that he used file sharing software to download and collect child pornography. At the time of his arrest, Bursch taught elementary school at the Pittsburg, California School District and was a youth swim coach.

In imposing its sentence, the court noted the large number of child pornography images in Bursch’s collection and that his child pornography included images of prepubescent children and of children involved in sadistic sex acts.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton following a bench trial on one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). Judge Hamilton also sentenced the defendant to a seven-year period of supervised release and imposed a $2,000 fine. The defendant is scheduled to begin serving the sentence on January 28, 2013.

Owen Martikan is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Rosario Calderon. The prosecution is the result of a one-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Martinez Police Department, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, and the San Jose Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.