Eric Toth is a former teacher at a private school in Washington D.C.
Convicted child pornographer and former Beauvoir Elementary teacher Eric J. Toth will spend the next 25 years in prison and will remain on strictly supervised release for the rest of his life.
Before the judge handed down Toth's sentence as part of a plea arrangement, Toth delivered a rambling and disjointed statement. At times tearful and at other times with nervous laughter, the 32-year-old former teacher and camp counselor said something no one in the courtroom could dispute.
"I contributed to making the world the kind of place I don't want to live in," Toth said. "A world of distrust, where parents look over their shoulders in fear for their children because of people like me."
Toth pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping the intimate body areas of 17 victims under the age of 12 who were under his care. He did this in Wisconsin, the District and Maryland between 2005 and 2007 when he worked as a counselor and teacher. He used hidden cameras for most of the taping. In at least one case he taped a sleeping child.
Toth fled the District in 2008 just hours after pornographic images of his students were discovered on a school camera at Beauvoir Elementary in N.W. He remained on the lam for almost five years and was placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List and his case seen on the show "America's Most Wanted." That led to a tip from a tourist who saw Toth in Nicaragua where he was living under an assumed identity.
Toth was arrested there in 2012 and extradited. In December of 2013, Toth pled guilty to three charges of child pornography, mis-use of a Social Security number and identity theft.
Michelle Peterson, Toth's defense attorney, wanted the judge to sentence her client to 22 years, arguing that he was "a kind and gentle person" who feels "an enormous love for children and went out of his way to avoid harming them physically."
Prosecutors wanted the judge to sentence Toth to 30 years because of the sheer number of victims and his ability to dissemble, assume false identities and flee from law enforcement.
The judge said that Toth had a "pathological attraction" to young boys and ruled that upon release, will remain under supervision for the rest of his life. Toth's use of the internet and computers will be restricted and monitored, he will not be allowed contact with minors at work or socially. Toth cannot live with minors or near schools, playgrounds, parks or places where young people congregate. Finally the judge ordered Toth to immediately begin psychological and behavioral treatment for his pedophilia.