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Detectives: Teacher Downloaded Child Sex Videos

Undercover Pinellas County Sheriff's detectives say teacher John M. Kaneski, 42, who used to work at Curlew Creek Elementary School, downloaded child porn videos onto his home computer.

Detectives: Teacher Downloaded Child Sex Videos

A man who was once the subject of a sexual battery investigation while employed at Curlew Creek Elementary, was arrested Friday morning in connection with a different investigation involving children.

Teacher John Michael Kaneski, 42, is accused of downloading videos of children performing sexual acts onto his home computer. Detectives arrested Kaneski Friday morning at his home in Dunedin. He is also under investigation for being inappropriately "involved" with at least one girl, Pinellas County Sheriff's Bob Gualtieri said during a press conference Friday afternoon. Gualtieri said the sheriff's office is concerned there may be more victims.

Kaneski, who teaches English as a second language at Cross Bayou Elementary School in Pinellas Park, was identified during an undercover Internet investigation that began on Nov. 19, meant to locate people who share child porn, Pinellas County Sheriff's detectives report.

Detectives issued a warrant to search Kaneski's computer and found multiple graphic videos of girls between ages 10 and 12 engaged in sex acts or sexual touching. Sometimes they appeared alone and sometimes with an adult male.

Pinellas County arrest records indicate Kaneski admitted to masturbating while watching the videos.

The sheriff’s office began to investigate an allegation in 2005 that Kaneski, who was then working at Curlew Creek Elementary School in Palm Harbor, had sexually battered an 8-year-old girl, but the child recanted her statement, so the case was dropped.

Kaneski is married with two young children. His wife was “surprised” by the charges. There is no indication that she knew, and she certainly did not participate, Gualtieri said.

Kaneski is charged with 10 counts of possession sexual performance by a child. He is being held at Pinellas County Jail on $200,000 bond.

The investigation is “far from over,” Gualtieri said at the news conference.

The sheriff’s office is taking a “much more proactive” role in cracking child pornography cases, Gualtieri said. New technology is being used that can trace when child pornography files are exchanged and distributed.

“We are able to go out to the Internet and proactively detect people in Pinellas County who are downloading, exchanging and sending child pornography,” Gualtieri said.

Anyone with information that may assist detectives in this investigation is
asked to contact Detective Rich Heaton of the Crimes Against Children Unit at

The sheriff's office is a member of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigation is ongoing.

Stay with Patch for updates.

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