A former elementary school teacher and wrestling coach in Orange County pleaded guilty Monday to possession of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), including at least one video that portrayed masochistic sexual conduct involving a child, authorities with the United States Attorney’s Office announced.
Richard O’Connor, 45, worked as a fourth-grade teacher at Crescent Elementary School in Anaheim. He also volunteered as a boys’ wrestling coach at Canyon High School. Both schools are in Anaheim.
In October 2022, agents with Homeland Security Investigations served a federal search warrant on Apple Inc. for the contents of the 45-year-old’s Apple iCloud account, authorities said.
“A forensic review of O’Connor’s iCloud account identified at least 81 videos and 158 images of CSAM. O’Connor admitted in his plea agreement that several of the videos and images of CSAM in his iCloud account depicted infants or toddlers as well as violent, sadistic, or masochistic conduct,” a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.
Authorities also said that the former teacher and coach admitted to knowing that at least three of the videos he had “depicted minors engaged in sexual conduct,” and that at least one of those videos “portrayed a child engaged in sadistic or masochistic conduct, particularly bondage.”
O’Connor, who is not accused of victimizing any students, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.
While the 45-year-old faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison and will be required to register as a sex offender, prosecutors have agreed to recommend to the court that he be sentenced to no more than five years, the news release stated.
United States District Judge David O. Carter has scheduled O’Connor’s sentencing hearing for Dec. 18.