A former social studies teacher at Arrowview Middle School in San Bernardino was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of exchanging sexually explicit photos with a 13-year-old girl in New Jersey, according to the FBI.
Complete Coverage: School Abuse Scandal
Eugene Ballantyne, 29, of Running Springs, was arrested without incident and charged with receipt and distribution of child pornography, according to a criminal complaint filed in Riverside.
Ballantyne allegedly met the South Brunswick, N.J., teen in an online chat room in January 2012. The two would correspond via online messaging and phone calls, according to the FBI.
"Ballantyne, who allegedly used a false name of John Baldwin while communicating with the victim, sent nude photographs of himself to the victim and received partially nude, sexually suggestive photographs of the victim," wrote Laura Eimiller of the FBI's LA Field Office in a statement released Tuesday.
Ballantyne expressed his love for the victim and in at least one message said "how lucky" he was that the victim was "in his life," wrote Eimiller.
While executing a federal search warrant at his home on March 1, Ballantyne allegedly admitted to communicating with the teen. Also, he allegedly admitted to receiving sexually explicit images from another girl he met online two years earlier, according to the FBI.
"The complaint further alleges that Ballantyne admitted to traveling 180 miles to have sex with a third minor victim, identified in the complaint as 'CV3,' whom he met in an online chat room," wrote Eimiller.
Ballantyne, who worked for the school district for 17 months, was put on paid administrative leave on March 1, and resigned on March 2, according to the district.
The San Bernardino Unified School District is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, according to the FBI.
Ballantyne faces up to 20 years in prison.
Anyone with information about this case can contact the FBI at 888 226-8443.