Sheriff’s investigators arrested a man who works as a 5th-grade teacher in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District on Wednesday on suspicion of sharing child pornography, officials said.
Steven Victor Pilar, 43, was booked on suspicion of distribution of child pornography following his 10:30 a.m. arrest at his Victorville home, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and county booking records.
Detectives from the department’s Crimes Against Children Detail and Hi-Tech Division were following leads when they learned illicit images were being distributed from Pilar’s home, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
They showed up with a warrant and interviewed Pilar.
“At the end of the interview with Pilar, he was arrested for distribution of over a thousand images and videos of child pornography,” the statement said.
Investigators soon learned that Pilar was employed as a 5th-grade teacher withing the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, officials said.
He taught at Baldwin Academy in La Puente, Interim Superintendent Anni Bui said in a written statement. School officials first learned of the arrest on Thursday, she said.
“The individual was immediately placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the law enforcement investigation, and is not allowed on HLPUSD properties nor does he have any access to email or student records,” according to Bui. “The District is collaborating with local law enforcement through this investigation.”
Pilar was released on bail Thursday morning pending his initial court appearance, records show.
It was not immediately clear whether he was released under California’s ongoing “zero-bail” policy set by judicial officials earlier this month to reduce jail crowding amid the COVID0-19 pandemic, which reduces bail to zero for all misdemeanor and some felony offenses.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at 909-387-3615. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to WeTip at 800-782-7463.