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Federal Hearing Held For Preschool Teacher Accused In Child Porn Case

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David Moe (credit: CBS)

David Moe (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – A preschool teacher has asked a federal judge to let him out on bond while he awaits trial on charges of possessing child pornography.

The hearing for David Moe, 45, started at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. It took longer than most early hearings due to the different dynamic of federal court procedures. The defense and prosecution were allowed to make statements and even call witnesses.

Moe was a teacher at Paddington Station Preschool in Denver for 18 years. Police seized CDs, DVDs, and hard drives from lock boxes inside his home and found the pornography.

The defense began and didn’t call any witnesses, but made the case for releasing Moe from custody on bail. They said he has ties to the community, doesn’t have a criminal history, doesn’t pose a danger to the community, and also doesn’t have the money to flee. They recommended him being released and tracked by a GPS.

The prosecution did call a witness — a special agent who helped arrest Moe. He talked about how they were tipped off about Moe, how they tracked him, and even went into graphic detail describing the child pornography he allegedly possessed.

Moe’s family and parents of children who attend Paddington Station Preschool were in the courtroom. Shelly Thompson, a lawyer who is representing several parents, told CBS4 the parents may be looking to take civil action against the school.

Ten years ago a 3-year old child told her parents that Moe touched her in a private area. The child was checked out by a doctor who felt there was no trauma. Prosecutors say the school and the child’s parents never reported the incident to police and Moe continued working at the school.

Current Paddington parents believe the previous incident should have been reported and maybe the current situation avoided. They believe the school may have been negligent by failing to provide basic safety. They want the school owners to disclose information about Moe and offer help to the parents.

“To pay for — to reimburse parents for skilled, trained, wholly independent child interviews,” Thompson said. “A lot of Paddington parents are concerned and only way to get help is to take that first step.”

In court, several hours were spent reviewing personal journals seized from Moe’s home. Prosecutors say the entries date back to 1997.

At first they focused on Moe’s interest in having a relationship with an adult woman but over the years started to focus solely on his interaction with toddler children from the school. He allegedly referenced when children sat in his lap, gave hugs and if they were trusting or not of him.

One entry said, “I gave child ‘X’ a hug. I couldn’t keep my hands off her and that was fun.” While another said, “I forced some hugs. Maybe I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help it.”

The journal entries don’t mention any sexual abuse of any children.

The judge said he will take 24 hours to decide if Moe will be eligible for bond. If he is released it will definitely come with special conditions.

Moe has since resigned his position at the school as well as the director of the school.

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