Substitute teacher arrested for possession of child pornography, police say

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Justin Villegas was taken into custody after authorities say they found upwards of 800 images of child pornography on his home computer.

The investigation will now determine if the 22-year-old was not only downloading the images but creating them as well.

"Some of the images we had seen raised our suspicion that he might have been involved in it however we have to analyze so many images and so many different videos and it's still not going to tell us unless we see his face which typically does not happen," said Hanford Police Sgt. Justin Vallin.

According to police, Villegas served as a substitute teacher for Armona Union Academy and Fresno Adventist Academy.

He previously worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Wawona in Yosemite. Detectives are now working with administrators to determine if the suspect had any sort of suspicious activity with students.

"Most of the minors we saw on these videos and photographs range between the ages of 10 to 14 years of age," Sgt. Vallin said.

Villegas was booked into the Kings County Jail after officers made the arrest at his home Tuesday evening on the 1900 block of West Heather lane in Hanford.

Neighbors we spoke to were shocked to learn they had a child predator living so close to them.

"It makes me sick because he's in our community...we picked this neighborhood because it's close to a school so we know there's zoning laws for registered offenders," said neighbor Celeste Pinto. "Just the fact that there's middle schoolers that line up right here and there's children walking. Hopefully he won't be allowed to move back in because the school is so close."

Justin Villegas was booked into jail on a $45,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment on Thursday.

If any information is known in regards to this case, please contact the Hanford Police Department and ask to speak to Detective Jarred Cotta at 559-585-2540.
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