Ex-teacher linked to more porn 

A former Mills High School teacher who allegedly filmed girls in a school bathroom also had circulated hundreds of lewd images of children on the Internet using his home computer, prosecutors said.

David Lista, 35, who faces four felony counts including possession and distribution of child pornography and possession of methamphetamine, did not, however, circulate the images he allegedly captured at the school, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The teacher faces a pair of misdemeanor charges for allegedly taping students through a camera that he reportedly situated in a tiny hole above a toilet stall, which was separated from his office by a storage closet, authorities said.

Lista reportedly confessed to police he had taped the girls. He kept images of about 19 students using the bathroom on a school computer, prosecutors said.

"We have nothing that would lead us to believe that any of the pictures involving girls at the school were circulated or distributed," Wagstaffe said.

A technology coordinator at the school found the pictures while investigating a server backup, authorities said. School officials then called police, who searched his home March 6. Police seized Lista’s computer and said they found methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia in the home. FBI analysts later found evidence of the other child pornography on Lista’s home computer, according to Wagstaffe.

Lista was arrested on drug charges and posted $10,000 bail. Charges in connection with the child pornography were filed Friday. He will be arraigned Tuesday, Wagstaffe said. He faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Prosecutors could not identify the children in the pornographic images found on Lista’s home computer, Wagstaffe said. He said the pictures were probably acquired from a wide-reaching pornographic trade.

Lista, a Mills teacher since 2002, confessed to police that he had videotaped the bathroom before Christmas and again on Valentine’s Day, a school district official said. At the time he was arrested, Lista was on probation for a drunken driving conviction he incurred three years ago.

The district was never notified of the infraction from the California Department of Justice, said Ethel Konopka, San Mateo Union High School District associate superintendent.

When notified, human resources officials with the district are required to meet with the employee to discuss possible disciplinary actions or termination, Konopka said. Lista did not have any prior offenses when hired, she said.

For the drunken driving conviction, Lista served 48 hours in the county jail work program, was fined $1,700 and was placed on three years’ probation, court records show.

maldax@examiner.com

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