LOS ANGELES – A former teacher at Arrowview Middle School in San Bernardino was sentenced this morning to 120 months in federal prison for attempting to entice a 13-year old girl in New Jersey to engage in sexual activity.
Eugene Ballantyne, 30, of Running Springs, California, pleaded guilty in July 2012 to one count of attempting to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. Ballantyne met the 13-year old New Jersey minor over the internet and began soliciting child pornography images from the minor. Acting with a federal search warrant, authorities seized Ballantyne’s computer, which revealed that Ballantyne had online relationships with several minors in which he obtained child pornography from them. One of these minors was Ballantyne’s former student. According to prosecutors, Ballantyne posed as an 18-year old in order to convince the 15-year old student to send him sexually explicit photographs. Ballantyne also admitted to traveling to Blythe, California to have sexual intercourse with a 17-year old minor that he met on the internet.
During the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge George H. King stated that Ballantyne committed the acts in a “callous manner” and described the need for the sentence to deter other internet predators.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with significant assistance from the South Brunswick, New Jersey, Police Department. The San Bernardino County Unified School District also cooperated with the investigation.