A former Washington private school teacher who was captured in Nicaragua after a year on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted'' fugitives list has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in a child pornography case.
Eric Toth was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington.
Toth pleaded guilty in December to three counts of producing child pornography, identity theft and misuse of a Social Security number. A prosecutor had asked he be sentenced to 30 years. Toth's lawyer said he should spend 22 years in prison.
Speaking to a federal court judge in Washington before he was sentenced, Toth apologized to his victims saying "I know I've hurt people, a lot of people.''
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He said he recognized his actions have led people to distrust others.
"I've really contributed to making the world a kind of place I don't want to live in,'' said Toth, who was added to the FBI's Most Wanted list in 2012, where he filled a vacancy created by Osama bin Laden's death.
Toth, 32, became choked up speaking to Judge Rudolph Contreras, at points tearing up but at others attempting to joke. Toth, who will spend a lifetime on supervised release after he leaves prison, mentioned Google Glass and said he told his lawyer he could wear glasses that allow officials to see what he's seeing and ensure he is staying away from children.
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He promised to spend his time in prison "trying to do penance in whatever humble ways I can.'' Toth previously wrote in a letter to the judge that one of the things he wants to do is train seeing eye dogs as part of a prison program.
The prosecutor overseeing the case, Cassidy Pinegar, acknowledged that Toth had never distributed the images he took of children under his care, 17 in all. She told the judge that Toth is "deeply disturbed and needs treatment.''
Toth worked at Beauvoir, a private elementary school, for three years. He was escorted from the school, located on the grounds of the National Cathedral, in 2008 after another school employee reported finding images of child pornography on a school camera in Toth's possession.
Sources told News4 that pictures of at least three other boys being touched inappropriately were found on a flash drive.
It was common for Toth, formerly of Arlington, Va., to tutor and babysit Beauvoir students, sources said. At least one of the boys photographed is believed to be a Beauvoir student, sources said.
Toth fled the county in 2008 before he could be arrested.
His car was later found parked at a Minnesota airport with an apparent suicide note. Toth, meanwhile, used an assumed name and worked in Arizona and later in Texas. Authorities caught him in Nicaragua in April 2013.
In addition to acknowledging that he placed a camera in a bathroom at the Beauvoir school, where he captured video of 15 children, he acknowledged that as a camp counselor in Wisconsin in 2005 he took photos and video of a camper. He also took photos and video of a child in Maryland.
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