MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – Authorities announced Monday that a 60-year-old Lafayette resident who recently worked as a substitute teacher at a pair of central Contra Costa County private schools has been arrested for the possession and distribution of child pornography.

Last Thursday, members of the Contra Costa Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force attempted to serve a search warrant to David Prashker at his residence in Lafayette on the 3600 block of Bickerstaff Road.

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As investigators tried to contact Prashker, he fled to the rear of the home and threw a laptop from a second floor room into the backyard. Upon examination, investigators discovered the hard drive of the laptop contained evidence of child pornography.

Prashker was arrested and booked at the Martinez Detention Facility where his bail was initially set at $205,000.

Authorities said Prashker has been a teacher and school administrator for 30 years.  Among many other credentials, Prashker has authored 30 books, including contemporary and historical novels, short stories, poetry, songs, plays and scholarly works, according to his biography.

In 2008, Prashker reportedly resigned from a director post at a private Jewish school in Toronto over controversy involving sexually explicit poetry he wrote and posted online.

He continued to be a Jewish community leader and fundraiser and has apparently spent the past few years working to build “BibleNet,” an educational online encyclopedia regarding the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

Most recently, Prashker has worked as a substitute teacher at two private schools in central Contra Costa County.

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Investigators said that the schools have been notified and that there is no evidence at this point that Prashker engaged in any crimes involving the students of either school.

On Monday, the head of one of those schools — Seven Hills in Walnut Creek — released the following statement.

“Late last week, we were informed by law enforcement that they had arrested an individual who had been employed as a substitute teacher at Seven Hills. It is our understanding that the arrest was based on alleged conduct that did not involve any Seven Hills students or other members of the school community,” said the statement attributed to Head of School, Kathleen McNamara.

“We are cooperating with the authorities and cannot make any further comments in the midst of an ongoing investigation. Safety and security of our students is a paramount operating principle of our school, and will continue to inform our policies and practices,” the statement concluded.

On Monday, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint charging Prashker with distribution and possession of child pornography, and attempting to destroy evidence.

Prashker will make his first court appearance Tuesday morning in Martinez. He faces a maximum penalty of 44 months in prison and fines if convicted.

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