Reedley Teaches Arrested on Child Porn Charges

September 29, 2009 8:35:35 AM PDT
Vincent Chavez and Samuel Garza were arrested Tuesday and booked into jail. Thursday night both are out on bail, but the legal trouble may just be beginning.The case may now be turned over to the US attorney's office for federal prosecution. Three weeks ago investigators got a lead about sexually explicit pictures being traded on the internet. A computer search led them to the home of two Reedley teachers.

At General Grant Middle School, the talk on campus is the missing teacher arrested by the Fresno County Sheriff's Detectives.

Deputies arrested 31 year old Vincent Chavez Tuesday after a search of the Reedley home he shares with his husband, Samuel Garza. Garza was also arrested after a search of computer equipment.

"Investigators found several images of child pornography."

District administrators say Chavez taught 6th grade English and Language Arts. Administrators at Kings Canyon Unified have put Chavez on paid leave and for now Garza will no longer be allowed to substitute teach. Thursday morning staff and students were notified of the arrests and offered counseling.

John Campbell said, "The principal started each period off with the teacher's class and spoke with them directly. Reinforcing procedures to report anytime they had felt uncomfortable and feelings that this brought about from hearing this news."

Neighbors say the two were friendly and thoughtful. Their arrests and the nature of the crime has surprised the whole neighborhood.

Sara Plano said, "Brought us Christmas presents. They talked to us all the time, they were really sweet, and they were really respectful. They never had their music on loud. Nothing like that, it's a real shock."

A telephone message is going out to parents of students at Grant Middle School letting them know about the arrests.

The Chavez family is well known in Reedley. Vincent Chavez is the son of Reedley Mayor Pro Tem Pete Chavez. Pete Chavez is also the Chief of Investigations for the Fresno County District Attorney's Office.

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