Former teacher indicted on child-porn charges | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Former teacher indicted on child-porn charges

William Ferchland
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Lake Tahoe Unified School District Superintendent Jim Tarwater, left, listens as El Dorado County Sheriff's Sgt. Don Atkinson answers questions from parents regarding the case against Karsten Gronwold on Sept. 5 at the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School.
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A federal grand jury believed there was enough evidence to levy a 10-count indictment against a former South Lake Tahoe teacher, accusing him of producing, distributing and possessing child pornography.

Karsten Gronwold, 49, was charged with one count of production of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, eight counts of distributing such images and one count of possessing the explicit material.

If convicted of all the charges listed in the indictment, the maximum penalty Gronwold faces is 190 years in prison.



His attorney, Timothy Zindel with the federal defender’s office, said he had not yet seen the indictment but would likely have no comment on the charges.

The more serious charge of creating child pornography, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a minimum of 10 years, alleges Gronwold coerced a minor to make a photograph named “playwithme.jpg” and distributed the image.



The indictment listed an alias for Gronwold as “kaboyb41b2006,” which was the user name for Yahoo! and myspace.com accounts containing child pornography.

In June and December of 2005 Gronwold allegedly used a computer to send eight explicit photos around the Internet and across state lines, the indictment stated.

In addition, authorities found child pornography on Gronwold’s electronic files, including those on a school laptop he used for work, when he was arrested Sept. 1. Gronwold is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in United States District Court on the indictment.

Gronwold pleaded not guilty to the criminal complaint when he appeared in federal court Sept. 5. He is being held in Sacramento County Main Jail at no bail.

There is no indication of Gronwold committing any wrongdoing during the course of his work as a teacher for 19 years. This year he was set to teach second-grade at the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School.

Authorities were first alerted to the “kaboyb41b2006” accounts tied to Gronwold when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received more than a dozen cyber tips regarding sexually explicit material involving children.

The indictment also contains an allegation that could result in Gronwold forfeiting four pieces of computer equipment.


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