FRESNO, Calif. – A federal grand jury has indicted a Clovis, Calif., elementary school teacher on four criminal counts for allegedly using his cell phone on multiple occasions to record sexual abuse of a minor.
Neng Yang, 43, is accused of using his cell phone and an external hard drive to record and store videos depicting his sexual abuse of a minor, on multiple occasions, between December 8, 2011, and January 26. The former teacher at Freedom Elementary School in the Clovis Unified School District is scheduled to be arraigned on February 13 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe. The charges carry a mandatory prison term of between 15 and 30 years and a $250,000 fine for each count.
This case is the result of an investigation by San Joaquin Valley's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, specifically the Clovis Police Department and the Fresno office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Brian Enos is prosecuting the case.
"This case is particularly alarming in light of the defendant's position as a teacher and counselor of youngsters," said Paul Leonardi, resident agent in charge, HSI Fresno. "HSI will continue its work with its law enforcement partners – using every tool at our disposal – to keep our children safe.
The investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a Department of Justice effort launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. SSuspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, PSC marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.