.

Teacher Guilty on Child Porn Charges Asks for Sentencing Leniency

Former Beauvoir teacher who produced child porn says in letter to judge that he wants to train seeing eye dogs.

Eric Justin Toth will be sentenced March 11 on child pornography charges. FBI photo
Eric Justin Toth will be sentenced March 11 on child pornography charges. FBI photo

A private school teacher at DC's private Beauvoir school who was captured in Nicaragua after a year on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" fugitives list has written the judge overseeing his child pornography case, saying he plans to spend the rest of his life "doing penance," according to a story from the Associated Press.

Eric Justin Toth wrote the letter ahead of his sentencing, scheduled for March 11. The documents, filed Monday in federal court in DC, include a recommendation from Toth's lawyer that he spend 22 years in prison. That's the low end of a recommended sentencing range agreed to by Toth as part of a guilty plea last year, the AP article points out.

Toth, a Fairfax County native, installed a video camera in his classroom bathroom to record students and he served as a sometimes nanny and tutor to young male students at the Northwest DC school. 

Toth's lawyer wrote that his client:

  • has no criminal record
  • a history of psychological problems including depression
  • when he was in high school he was sexually abused by a teacher

A prosecutor asked that Toth be sentenced to 30 years in prison. Both lawyers agreed that after prison Toth should spend a lifetime on supervised release.

Toth, who was captured last year in Nicaragua after five years on the run, told the judge in his letter that he hopes to spend his time in prison "as productively as possible," including participating in a program to train seeing eye dogs. Toth's lawyers wrote that he would like to serve his sentence at a New Jersey prison that has a program to train the dogs.

"For years, my brain manufactured one justification after another for giving into my sexual urges," he said in his letter. "In more recent years, I've worked hard to change that and continue to work on it in prison. In my heart of hearts, I've always known my urges are dangerous," he wrote.

Toth's letter ends by saying he will "commit the rest of my life to doing penance, to kindness and decency, and to honest and perpetual accountability."

Toth pled guilty in December to three counts of producing child pornography, identity theft and misuse of a Social Security number. He acknowledged that in 2005, while working as a counselor in Wisconsin, he took photos and videos of a sleeping male camper, according to the FBI.

In 2006, after he began working as a third-grade teacher at Beauvoir, he took photos and videos of a student, according to the FBI. He installed a hidden video camera disguised as an air freshener in a bathroom at the school. The camera captured 15 children using the bathroom.

In June 2008, Toth was escorted off Beauvoir's campus in DC, after administrators found photos of child pornography on a camera, according to the FBI. A media card containing more photos was found, but the teacher fled before police could arrest him. He also spent time in Texas and Arizona before officials captured him in Nicaragua.


Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »