A local elementary school teacher was arrested Friday morning on felony charges involving allegedly luring children online.
Suspect John Kinloch, 41, is a first grade teacher at Wolf Canyon Elementary in Chula Vista. He’s been teaching for the past 14 years.
Federal agents believe the veteran teacher lured children online in order to obtain nude pictures of minors. Kinloch is now being held at San Diego Central Jail on three felonies involving minors.
On Friday, the Chula Vista Elementary School District handed out 900 letters informing parents of Kinloch’s arrest. The letter reassured parents that none of their students were targeted and none of the alleged crimes were committed on campus.
The news left both the school district and parents in disbelief.
“It hurts me that the kids have established a relationship with this teacher, so I'm really going to be asking some questions,” said Wolf Canyon parent Denise Roldan. “My kids [have] only mentioned him a couple of times. They say he was a cool teacher; kids were really happy with him.”
Anthony Millican of the Chula Vista Elementary School District said Kinloch’s arrest came as a complete surprise, especially since there were never any red flags concerning the teacher.
“There's nothing in the individual's file to indicate anything of this nature, thus [we’re feeling] a sense of surprise and concern and shock,” said Millican.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force says Kinloch posed as a 13-year-old girl online.
He has allegedly been in contact with boys between the ages of 12 and 16, getting them to send him nude photographs and videos.
In addition, Kinloch is accused of selling or sending the obscene materials.
Now, the well-liked teacher is under investigation and on administrative leave from his position.
“Anyone who harms children isn’t someone we want in our system,” said Millican.
Kinloch’s neighbors say the teacher was not married, lived at home with his mother and generally kept to himself.
He’s scheduled to appear in court and face a judge on Dec. 7.