FORT WORTH, Texas — A Dallas-area elementary school teacher remains in federal custody Wednesday following his arrest last week on a federal complaint, filed June 24, which charges him with receiving child pornography.
This arrest was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Following a probable cause and detention hearing Wednesday in federal court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton ordered that Mark Stutheit, 59, remain in federal custody. Stutheit is a teacher at Reinhardt Elementary School in Dallas.
According to the complaint filed in this case and testimony presented at the June 29 hearing, the investigation began last month when an undercover officer with the Queensland Police Service (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), and a person later identified as Stutheit, exchanged emails about the sexual exploitation of children.
On June 23, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Stutheit’s residence in Saginaw, Texas. A forensic evaluation of evidence seized revealed numerous files containing child pornography on Stutheit’s computer and mobile devices.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense as charged is not less than five years or up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
Anyone who may have been victimized in this case is asked to contact HSI at its toll-free number: 1-866-347-2423.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.