Ex-middle school counselor sentenced for making child porn

Statesman staffNovember 12, 2013 

Mark A. Saltzer

A 46-year-old Boise man with a history of working with kids in the Treasure Valley was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison, with credit for time served, for producing sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

In a plea agreement, Mark Alan Saltzer admitted that he produced sexually explicit videos of 11 different boys between the ages of 11 and 17 from April 2006 to April 2012.

Some of the videos Saltzer created have been distributed worldwide and are known to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Saltzer was arrested on Aug. 17, 2012, at his home after federal investigators served a search warrant. Two minor boys not related to Saltzer were in the home at the time. Saltzer admitted to repeatedly molesting one of the boys beginning in the summer of 2012, according to the plea agreement.

Saltzer, who worked as counselor at Meridian Middle School at the time of his arrest, also was linked to an online group where members discussed their interest in young boys and swapped pornographic material, prosecutors said. Saltzer had been a member of the group for almost a decade, according to court documents.

During the sentencing hearing, it was also disclosed that Saltzer admitted to abusing five victims ranging in age from 13 to 17, the first occurring when Saltzer was 21. Saltzer previously worked as a counselor in the Marsing and Caldwell school districts, and also as a counselor for sex offenders and victims of abuse at the Idaho Youth Ranch and at a treatment program in Ontario.

“Those who victimize children by producing and distributing images of children being sexually abused will be identified, investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Olson said. “When it comes to crimes that target society’s most vulnerable members, we will not let boundaries or agency affiliation interfere with the work that must be done. Mr. Saltzer’s prison sentence sends the strong message that local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies will work together in an efficient and coordinated manner to bring these predators to justice.”

Because he committed a federal crime, Saltzer is not eligible for parole. The 30-year sentence he received was the maximum punishment possible under statute.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Saltzer to be on supervised release for 20 years and pay a $10,000 fine. Before his sentencing, Saltzer paid $50,000 in lieu of forfeiting his home.

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