Renton elementary music teacher charged with child porn possession

Chris Newcombe, 35, has also taught in Federal Way and other schools throughout Puget Sound.

An elementary music teacher in the Renton School District who lives in Federal Way was charged on Friday for possession of child pornography.

Christopher Scott Newcombe, 35, is currently an music teacher at Renton Cascade Elementary School.

A statement from the Renton School District confirmed the district immediately placed Newcombe on administrative leave after his arrest Friday morning.

“Mr. Newcombe was hired by the Renton School District in mid-April as an itinerant music teacher at Cascade and Tiffany Park elementary schools,” according to the statement. “At this time, Homeland Security has shared that there is no indication that any students were impacted.”

Newcombe has also worked as a music teacher in a variety of public and charter schools in the Puget Sound region, including Federal Way, Tacoma and Bainbridge Island, according to the Department of Justice.

Federal Way Public Schools said in a statement that Newcombe was employed as a music teacher at Totem Middle School during the 2017-18 school year, and a substitute in the 2016-17 school year.

“As part of our standard job application process, we conduct an FBI and WSP fingerprint and background check on all applicants,” according to the statement. “We also conduct confidential reference checks. All staff are required to take training on appropriate staff and student boundaries. During the orientation process, all staff are notified of our professional conduct and privacy policy.

“Student safety is and always will be our number one priority. We take every precaution possible to secure the safety of our students.”

According to records filed in the case, KIK (a Canadian instant-messaging app) screens for explicit images on its messaging system and forwards information on those images to law enforcement. In November 2018, Homeland Security Investigations was alerted to the transmitting of sexually explicit images of young boys involving an internet protocol address ultimately traced to Newcombe, according to the Department of Justice. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Newcombe’s digital devices. The warrant was executed on Friday morning, and Newcombe was charged with possession of images of child pornography in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Since Newcombe has been employed as a music teacher, Homeland Security is asking that those who have concerns and wish to communicate with law enforcement call 206-442-1469.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources better to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.

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