Former substitute teacher sentenced to 14 months in child porn case

A North Bend man is in a state prison in Shelton, following his guilty plea and conviction on felony charges of possessing child pornography, but he may not be there for long.

Theodore Bernstein, 65, was sentenced March 8 to 14 months in prison, but he’s been in the King County Jail since his arraignment in July. He has earned credit for time served, and, according to Department of Corrections staff, his earned release date is April 8.

Bernstein was arrested June 15, 2012, by King County sheriff’s deputies for investigation of possession of child pornography. Officers searched his home and found incriminating DVDs and writing. At his arraignment July 2, he entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. The court granted him electronic home detention, but bail was set at $50,000, and Bernstein remained in jail.

His court case was continued several times, according to court records, and he revised his plea to guilty at a Feb. 4 hearing.

The terms of his sentence, as outlined in his sentencing document, include 14 months in prison, three years in community custody, and no contact with any minors without permission from his treatment provider and community custody official for five years. His sentence requires him to receive “cognitive-behaviorally based, sex-offense treatment,” with weekly individual or group sessions for 12 to 18 months and to have an HIV test and counseling. He is prohibited from having access to the Internet without prior approval from his community custody officer, and from access to any computer, phone or online service that is not related to employment. Bernstein is also required to have no contact, direct or indirect, with minors, to hold no position of authority or trust involving minors, and to avoid parks, playgrounds, schools, and other places where children congregate.

As a sex offender, Bernstein will also be required to register his home address with the sheriff of his county within three days of residency. He will be required to register until the court formally notifies him he is no longer obligated to do so.

Bernstein was a substitute teacher in the Snoqualmie Valley School District prior to his arrest. The district suspended him in May.


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