A Turlock man who worked as a substitute teacher in Stanislaus County has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography, the Turlock Police Department reported.
The suspect, identified as Damon Rene Witt, 48, was taken into custody on Thursday and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on a single charge of possession of child pornography. As of Friday afternoon, Witt remained in custody in lieu of a $10,000 bail.
The investigation into Witt began when the Turlock Police Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The investigation eventually led to a search warrant being served at Witt’s residence in the 900 block of W. Tuolumne Road, where several electronic devices were seized.
A forensic examination of the devices was performed and investigators found multiple images of child pornography. The images were not made by Witt, according to the police department. The images have been circulating on the internet for some time and are well known to law enforcement nationwide.
“The Turlock Police Department is thankful for the working relationship we have with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Stanislaus County Office of Education,” said Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar. “We will always investigate and arrest anyone found to be in possession of images which exploit children. Turlock Police work hard every day to ensure that the children of this community are safe. We will continue to work with agencies nationwide to achieve this goal and hold those who take advantage of children accountable.”
Witt has worked as a substitute teacher in Stanislaus County. The Turlock Unified School District said Witt worked as a “temporary para-professional at Brown Elementary for one month in 2012; Medeiros Elementary for two weeks in 2016; and Pitman High School for eight months between 2012-2013. He also served as a substitute teacher within the district from 2012-2016.
“We have no record of any employee misconduct occurring during this time frame. He is currently not employed by TUSD in any capacity,” the District stated.
Witt coached soccer at Turlock Junior High School during the 2016-2017 school year and is involved as the vice commissioner for the Turlock Youth Soccer Association, according to their website.
Because of his access to children, detectives are asking anyone who may have further information about him to contact Detective Tim Redd at 664-7325.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.