A former Culdesac teacher is standing trial on child pornography charges

LEWISTON, ID - It's the first day of trial for a former Culdesac School District teacher accused of having child pornography.

Sophia Miraglio was in court Monday and has the latest.

It's been more than a year since Tyler Dean Mink was charged with eleven counts of possession of child pornography. Monday those charges came to light as the state laid out its case.

"The initial on the hard drive and out of that hard drive several files noteworthy or suggested to be child pornography were located and those were the basis of the charges," said Nez Perce County Prosecutor, Sandra Dickerson.

Law enforcement professionals trained in internet crimes against children made up the state's witnesses.

"Due to the large number of files I mainly relied on my known filter which showed 77 there were probably more on there," said Lewiston Police Dept. Corporal, Eric Kjorness. "If I were to give you an estimate I'd say probably several hundred that I would suspect."

However the most damaging evidence for the day came from a recorded interview between LPD Sergeant Arneson and Mink. In this interview Mink admits to downloading images and videos by using the search terms "young" and "girls."

"He would do it in batches of approximately 100 at a time, that's what he told me and it would take about 45 minutes," said Arneson.

Mink stated the images were accidentally downloaded when he was trying to access adult porn. And when he realized there were images of children he thought he deleted them. This laid the groundwork for the defenses case that the former Culdesac teacher did not know what was on his computer.

"It is our position your honor that he did not knowingly or willingly have those materials in his possession and as such the states case must fail," said Mink's attorney, Scott Chapman.

The defense did not call any witnesses to testify. Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday morning.

In the interview recording, Mink said all the photos were from the internet and none from previous students.