BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — On Tuesday around 6 a.m., 59-year-old Matthew Ambrose of Bakersfield was arrested for allegedly possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material.
Through an Internet Crimes Against Children search warrant, Ambrose was arrested at Coburn Ridge Court in Southwest Bakersfield.
A statement from the Bakersfield police department revealed Ambrose was a teacher at Bessie Owens Elementary at the time of his arrest and according to the school, he has been a teacher for the district for nearly 30 years.
He worked for Munsey and Pauly Elementary, along with Owens Intermediate, now known as Lincoln Junior High.
Parents received a letter from the school about the arrest reading in part:
Mr. Ambrose was arrested off campus and will not return to the school site. BCSD is committed to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for all students, and we appreciate the work of the Bakersfield police department and all involved law enforcement agencies.
BPD worked alongside Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service.
Criminal defense lawyer Kyle Humphrey said the involvement of various agencies is typical protocol, “There's so much of this and so many people are looking at it, it would be very difficult for an agency to handle it alone."
Humphrey said Homeland Security and The Secret Service are the main agencies that investigate these types of cases.
“They have facilities to evaluate and search the hashtags and um the descriptive words of known pornography in the world and so they can spot inner searching pretty quickly," said Humphrey.
Humphrey said the arrest for possession and distribution of child sexual abuse typically means child pornography.
He said these types of charges rarely mean they are physically touching someone. If they were, it would be different charges.
“Possession means it’s in a place in your computer that they can't show what's accessible to others on the internet," said Humphrey.
Distribution of the content could mean a few things other than the intentional act of distributing.
“You could actually be distributing simply because the software you chose to download with shares it back out," said Humphrey.