A Ballston Spa elementary school music teacher faces a felony charge of possessing child pornography.
Federal officials said Timothy Brehmer, 35, of 24 Third Ave., Broadalbin, was charged Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators. If convicted on the charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Brehmer appeared Thursday in federal court in Albany before U.S. District Court Judge David R. Homer of the Northern District of New York. He was released without bail and is due back in court Dec. 27.
The Ballston Spa Central School District suspended Brehmer from employment Wednesday and barred him from school district property. It also asked federal authorities to review Brehmer’s school-related files as a precautionary measure. The district released a statement in which officials said they were told the federal investigation did not relate to Brehmer’s employment or to Ballston Spa students. District officials notified parents and staff of Brehmer’s arrest Friday.
“The school district is both appalled and disappointed to have been informed of these charges and we take all such charges very seriously,” said Ballston Spa schools Superintendent Joseph P. Dragone. “Any teacher who engages in this type of behavior will not be employed by our district,” he said.
Federal investigators notified Ballston Spa school officials about Brehmer’s case Wednesday, according to a news release from the school district.
The Ballston Spa Central School District staff directory states Brehmer teaches music in kindergarten through grade 5 in all of the elementary schools.
According to the criminal complaint, Brehmer told investigators he obtained child pornography images from various child pornography websites, as well as from other people. Brehmer also said he had been searching and downloading child pornography since 1998, according to court records. He told authorities he saved the images on a desktop computer.
Federal authorities said they found dozens of still images and video files depicting child pornography in Brehmer’s computer, which they seized with his consent, according to court papers. The complaint said investigators conducted a “knock and talk” with Brehmer at his home Wednesday.
As part of his release, Brehmer is prohibited from accessing the Internet or associating with anyone younger than 19 unless supervised. He also is prohibited from leaving his residence except for work, medical purposes and other activities as directed by the court.
Court records indicate Brehmer’s attorney is Peter Moschetti of Latham and the prosecutor is Richard Belliss. Neither returned calls today.