Crime

SLO DA steps in to investigate Atascadero teacher accused of producing child porn

Atascadero Academy of Fine Arts teacher Chris Berdoll could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all the charges against him.
Atascadero Academy of Fine Arts teacher Chris Berdoll could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all the charges against him. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

Atascadero police on Friday forwarded its investigation findings into a teacher accused of taking sexually explicit videos of female students to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Chris Berdoll, a sixth-grade teacher and visual arts instructor at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy, was arrested Monday on suspicion of taking “up-skirt” videos of girls at the school.

Berdoll was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

He was released from jail Tuesday after posting bail, and he remains on paid administrative leave from his teaching position.

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Chris Berdoll, a sixth-grade teacher, is accused of taking inappropriate videos of female students at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. Lindsey Holden lholden@thetribunenews.com

The District Attorney’s Office will review the Atascadero Police Department’s investigation reports and decide whether to file charges by Sept. 24, when Berdoll is scheduled for arraignment, according to a news release.

Atascadero police Sgt. Jeffrey Wilshusinen on Thursday confirmed a New Times report of a student who witnessed Berdoll allegedly taking videos of girls under their desks with his smartphone.

Wilshusinen said the student allegedly saw Berdoll’s phone screen and noticed he was recording the girls.

The student who reported the filming followed the school’s safety motto of “see something, say something,” he said.

The Atascadero Police Department and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation will continue investigating the case.

Anyone who suspects their child may have been victimized is encouraged to contact the Atascadero Police Department at 805-461-5051 or Curt Eichperger, assistant superintendent of human resources for Atascadero Unified School District, at 805-462-4200.

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Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseymholden

Tribune reporter Matt Fountain contributed to this story.

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