RUNNING SPRINGS (CBS) — Federal authorities say a former San Bernardino middle school teacher arrested on charges of exchanging sexually explicit images online with a 13-year-old girl may have other victims.
Eugene Ballantyne, 29, of Running Springs was taken into custody Tuesday by FBI agents after the parents of a 13-year-old New Jersey girl found out about sexually explicit communication between their daughter and Ballantyne earlier this year, federal officials said.
According to the criminal complaint, Ballantyne sent nude photos of himself to the girl and received partially nude, sexually suggestive photos of the girl. Ballantyne was allegedly very demanding during phone conversations and persuaded the girl to engage in sexual activity as they talked.
He allegedly blocked his number on several phone calls and often demanded she delete his pictures, text messages and emails. Officials say Ballantyne used the false name of John Baldwin while corresponding with the girl.
Ballantyne’s home was searched on March 1, during which Ballantyne admitted to agents that he had been communicating with the girl since January and had received sexually explicit images from her and another girl he met online about two years ago, according to federal officials.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Ballantyne admitted to traveling 180 miles to have sex with another girl, whom he also met in an online chat room.
Officials say there’s no evidence suggesting Ballantyne had illegal contact with children at the school where he was employed.
Ballantyne is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in Riverside Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives and agents believe Ballantyne may have had access to other minors. Anyone with information about Ballantyne can call the FBI at 888-226-8443.