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Former Moorhead social studies teacher accused of sharing child porn

A review of the images showed three files that depicted sexual abuse against children as young as 4 years old, according to a criminal complaint.

Caleb Brush.png
Caleb Brush.
Cass County Jail photo
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FARGO — A former Moorhead public school teacher has been arrested on charges that say he shared child pornography.

Caleb Oscar Brush, 25, remains in custody at the Cass County Jail on felony charges of promoting or directing an obscene performance by a minor and possessing child porn. Court records did not list an attorney for him as of Wednesday, May 11.

The charges filed May 3 in North Dakota's Cass County District Court date back to June 13. That’s when an account connected to Brush uploaded suspected child sex abuse files to Kik, a messaging app.

A review of the images showed three files that depicted sexual abuse against children as young as 4 years old, according to a criminal complaint.

Once alerted to the videos, agents raided Brush's Fargo apartment and seized numerous electronics.

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While they say no child porn images were found, Cass County Assistant States attorney Ryan Younggren says that is not unusual in these case.

"People don't really do that anymore. It's so much easier to get on to these peer-to-peer sharing programs and then share the stuff, use it for what they need it for, and then it's gone," Younggren said. "The idea by the perpetrator is that once they do that, it is no longer recoverable or able to be found, but that's just not true from a law enforcement standpoint."

Brush, who lived in Fargo at the time of the investigation, told police on Feb. 3 he shared the images online but denied having a “sexual interest” in the files, saying he sent them “as a result of being off his mental health medication," the complaint alleged.

The complaint also said Brush was a school teacher. Moorhead Area Public Schools hired him on Dec. 1 as a social studies teacher, and he worked at the Moorhead Alternative Learning Center, according to school board documents.

"There's been no indication thus far that any students were involved," Younggren said.

Brush’s employment with the district ended Feb. 23, said district spokeswoman Brenda Richman. School board minutes show he resigned.

“We cannot comment further on personnel matters,” Richman said.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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