Trial delayed for former teacher accused of possessing child porn | ParkRecord.com

Trial delayed for former teacher accused of possessing child porn

The federal trial of a former Parley’s Park Elementary teacher and Boy Scout leader accused of possessing child pornography has again been delayed.

Jose Marie Ardanaz Ezcurdia, 31, was set to face trial starting Jan. 26 in United States District Court for one count of possession of child porn and one count of distribution of child porn. According to court documents, Ezcurdia’s defense, however, motioned for a second continuance in the case after already delaying the original trial date, which had been set for Oct. 20, 2014. The defense argued the extra time is "necessary for effective preparation" while acknowledging Ezcurdia is waiving his right to a speedy trial.

The motion was granted Jan. 22 by U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart. A new plea agreement hearing date has been set for April 6, while a four-day jury trial would begin April 27.

Possession of child porn carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a minimum of five years. Distribution carries a 10-year maximum sentence. Both charges carry potential $250,000 fines. Ezcurdia was charged federally because he allegedly did "knowingly distribute and receive any child pornography that had been shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means," according to court documents.

Ezcurdia, who is from Spain and was teaching second-grade dual language immersion at Parley’s Park on a student visa, was arrested in August. He admitted to police to possessing child porn after they found it at his home, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in 3rd District Court in Summit County. Five state felony charges stemming from the affidavit were dismissed when Ezcurdia was federally indicted later that month.

The Park City School District fired Ezcurdia following his arrest. According to a district press release at the time of the arrest, he had passed two background checks during the process of becoming employed as a teacher in Utah — one while he was in Spain and another once he arrived in Utah. Searches of his district-provided laptop yielded no evidence of improper material.

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According to court documents, Ezcurdia remains in custody.