ARIZONA NEWS

HSI arrests Mesa teacher for alleged child exploitation, seeks more victims

Aug 8, 2021, 6:15 AM
(Homeland Security investigations Photo)...
(Homeland Security investigations Photo)
(Homeland Security investigations Photo)

PHOENIX — Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix is seeking help from the public to identify potential victims of a former Mesa school teacher arrested Thursday morning for child exploitation.

Authorities said Cheng-Hsuan “Eric” Tsai, 29, faces 20 counts of distribution and possession of pictures of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

When Tsai was arrested, he was a teacher at the Tempe Montessori School in Mesa. His bond has been set to $1 million dollars.

The investigation into the teacher began in February when HSI special agents discovered someone who was accessing, downloading and disseminating child sexual exploitation material electronically, authorities said in a press release.

HSI and the Mesa Police Department opened an investigation, which ultimately led to Tsai, authorities said.

He was arrested after a search warrant of his electronic devices showed the presence of CSEM. Detectives also found sexually abusive material of infants during a forensic review of his media, authorities said.

The investigation is ongoing to identify the suspects and victims associated with Tsai.

Anyone who might have had previous contact with Tsai or thinks they may have information that may be relevant to the child exploitation investigation, is asked to call HSI Phoenix at (602) 200-2200.

HSI is also encouraging the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-(866)-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.

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HSI arrests Mesa teacher for alleged child exploitation, seeks more victims