Turlock

Substitute teacher, coach from Turlock arrested on suspicion of child porn possession

A substitute teacher who works in and around Stanislaus County, and also coached and volunteered with youth, was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Following a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Turlock Police detectives served a search warrant at the home of 48-year-old Damon Witt in the 900 block of West Tuolumne Road on Tuesday, according to Turlock Police Sgt. Russ Holeman.

Several electronic devices were seized and hundreds of images of of child pornography were found. Holeman said Witt did not manufacture any of the images; they were images which have been circulating on the internet for some time and are well-known to law enforcement nationwide.

Witt was arrested on Thursday. He remained in custody Friday with bail set at $10,000.

Witt was employed as a substitute by the Stanislaus County County Office of Education from December 2016 until his termination Friday, said Spokeswoman Judy Boring. He was on a list to substitute for school districts in Ceres, Empire, Keyes, and Hughson, as well as the Chatom School District outside Turlock.

“We notified the school districts so they are aware and they will be communicating with the parents,” Boring said.

The Turlock Unified School District posted on its Facebook page Friday that Witt previously worked as para-professional at three of its schools. He also coached soccer at Turlock Junior High during the 2016-2017 school year.

“We have no record of any employee misconduct occurring during this time frame,” reads the post. “He is currently not employed by TUSD in any capacity.”

Damon is also listed on the Turlock Youth Soccer Association website as its vice commissioner and is on a contact list for a church in Turlock. The Bee was unable to reach people at either location before deadline.

Holeman would not comment on his involvement with the association or church but said any organization for which he was fingerprinted for employment or volunteer work would be notified of his arrest.

Due to Witt’s access to children Turlock Detectives are asking anyone who may have further information about Witt to contact Detective Tim Redd at 209-664-7325.

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