A local elementary school teacher accused of luring children online may have committed a similar crime in a different country 17 years ago, district officials said.
John Kinloch, 41, is a first grade teacher at Wolf Canyon Elementary in Chula Vista and has been teaching for the past 14 years.
Federal agents believe the veteran teacher lured children on a website called "MeetMe" in order to obtain nude pictures of minors. He was arrested and faces three felony charges 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.
A statement released Tuesday by police reported that Kinloch both lured children and possessed child pornography.
District officials confirmed on Monday that Kinloch may have been involved in a similar case oversees before he became a teacher.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is looking into a mid-1990's case first reported on in the San Diego Reader. Investigators looking into a child pornography were led to Kinloch, but he was granted immunity in order to testify against a suspect authorities considered a greater danger.
"Based on his statements in court, it would indicate he should not be employed in positions that involve contact with youth," said Anthony Millican with the Chula Vista Elementary School District.
The Reader reports that Kinloch was attracted to teenage boys or younger, and that he admitted in 1995 to sharing pictures of boys as young as five years old.
Five years later, Kinloch was hired by the Chula Vista Elementary School District.
"I'm shocked that it didn't come up during his hiring process," said parent Dominick Calma. "At the end of the day, they work in your school system so you should take the time to go and research the individuals taking care of your students."
Millican said the district relies on the FBI and Department of Justice for accurate background checks.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy released this statement Tuesday in response to the new information.
“Given the transitions in this office since 1998 and the passage of time, we are unable to corroborate or add anything to the story at this time.”
In the most recent complaint, the 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. He bailed out of jail over the weekend and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
Kinloch’s neighbors say the teacher was not married, lived at home with his mother and generally kept to himself. He did not respond to requests for comment at his home on Monday night.