|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF1935
May 5, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ASSISTANT MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL COACH CONVICTED OF POSSESION OF HUNDREDS
OF IMAGES OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
SANTA ANA – An assistant coach who worked primarily with boys at the middle and high school level was convicted today of one felony count of possession and control of child pornography for possessing hundreds of pornographic images of children. Nicholas James Knodle, 22, formerly of Orange, pleaded guilty to the court and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, three years formal probation, and is required to register as a lifetime sex offender.
In November 2007, the Santa Ana office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received a complaint that Knodle, assistant boys’ lacrosse coach associated at different times with Hewes Middle School, Foothill High School, and Tustin High School, was viewing child pornography on his computer. On Dec. 14, 2007, after a follow-up investigation, a task force known as the Orange County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (OC SAFE) Team searched Knodle’s Orange apartment. Knodle was in possession of several hundred images of child pornography in his home and on his computer. He primarily possessed graphic pornographic images of naked young boys in sexual poses who appear to be between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, the same age range as the students he coached.
The OC SAFE Team is a multi-agency federal task force including the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. OC SAFE is aimed at preventing Internet crimes against children by targeting online predators and those who posses, produce, or distribute child pornography.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.