Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Craig Dinwiddie - Teacher charged for distributing child porn

A longtime Gonzales High School teacher facing two felony charges for distributing and possessing child pornography is seeking a plea agreement, his attorney said Tuesday.

Craig Dinwiddie, 52, faces up to three years and eight months in prison for charges stemming from his July 24 arrest after an investigation in which child pornography was allegedly found on his computer.

Dinwiddie is due in the Salinas courtroom of Superior Court Judge Larry E. Hayes at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when he could enter a plea, said his attorney.

"We're still talking about a disposition. It's possible that it will happen on Thursday," attorney Joseph Cisneros, who is representing Dinwiddie, said. "Between now and then, we're going to continue to work with the district attorney and the court to try to determine whether there can be a resolution."

If no deal is cut, Dinwiddie is scheduled to stand trial March 2.

Dinwiddie was arrested two months after San Jose police received a tip that two people received child pornography from a computer in Gonzales.

Gonzales Police Chief Paul Miller said the tip led to a search of Dinwiddie's residence in June, when his computer was seized.

No local children are among those pictured in the alleged child pornography, Miller said, but police seized photos of local students, taken without their knowledge, which "focused on various parts of the body."

The Gonzales Unified School District placed Dinwiddie on paid leave after learning of the investigation, but the leave became unpaid, in accordance with state law, after criminal charges were filed.

Dinwiddie has been ordered not to be around children without an adult present while he is free on bail.

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