Teacher Commits Suicide Following Child Porn Arrest

July 31, 2009 9:49:18 AM PDT
A Fresno Unified teacher died Wednesday, one day after being arrested on child pornography charges. Federal agents arrested 65 year old James Victor Healy on the J.E. Young Academic Center Campus Tuesday morning. It appears he took his own life shortly after being booked into the Fresno County Jail. "He was placed in a cell in the booking area. A short time later a correctional officer found him unconscious. He had apparently tried to hang himself with his belt," said Fresno County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Chris Curtice.Efforts to revive him failed and he was rushed to a local hospital. Wednesday, he was pronounced dead. The news of his arrest and his death came as shock to those in his central Fresno neighborhood. "He was a wonderful neighbor, he was always smiling ... I knew he was working with kids who needed extra care. I admired him for that," said Karin Larka.

Karin Larka also taught in Fresno Unified and said she often talked to Healy about union issues as they passed each other on the sidewalk. She said Healy seemed like a dedicated husband and father.

A Fresno Unified spokesperson said authorities told the district about the allegations against Healy shortly after his arrest. At this point, it appears no students had been victimized.

Healy worked for the district for 35 years, teaching at both the J.E. Young and Duncan Polytechnical campuses. He also worked in the district's information technology department.

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