Former Anaheim elementary school teacher Richard O’Connor sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

Former Anaheim elementary school teacher and high school wrestling coach Richard O’Connor was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

O’Connor formerly was employed as a fourth-grade teacher at Crescent Elementary School in Anaheim and volunteered as a boys’ wrestling coach at Canyon High School, also located in Anaheim. He is not accused of victimizing students.

According to his plea agreement, in October 2022, law enforcement served a federal search warrant on Apple Inc. for the contents of O’Connor’s Apple iCloud account.

A forensic review of O’Connor’s iCloud account identified at least 81 videos and 158 images of CSAM. O’Connor admitted in his plea agreement that several of the videos and images of child pornography  in his iCloud account depicted infants or toddlers as well as violent, sadistic, or masochistic conduct.

O’Connor further admitted in his plea agreement that he knew that at least three of the videos that he possessed depicted minors engaged in sexual conduct. He also admitted to possessing at least one video that portrayed a child engaged in sadistic or masochistic conduct, particularly bondage.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Sedrish Rabbani read a letter into the record from the father of two children who lived with O’Connor, who married the man’s ex-wife. The Orange County Fire Authority firefighter recounted what he characterized were “inappropriate” moments his son had with O’Connor.

The father said O’Connor spent a weekend with the firefighter’s son in Big Bear alone in 2020 when the boy was 11. The father also said he grew concerned when O’Connor would frequently text with the boy about playing online video games together.

On another trip the son had with O’Connor the boy sent his father pictures of pastries shaped like genitalia, the firefighter said. The father also said O’Connor regularly viewed R-rated movies with the boy.

Sadat emphasized that child protective services interviewed all the students O’Connor interacted with as an educator and he was “cleared” of any wrongdoing with students.

O’Connor will be on supervised release when he gets out for up to 20 years. He could have the last five years eliminated if he obeys the terms of release. Carter ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender.

Anyone with information about inappropriate conduct with children by O’Conner is encouraged to contact the Anaheim police or the FBI.

 Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has represented hundreds of children who were sexually assaulted by teachers in schools . We secured a settlement of $140 million on behalf of 81 child sexual abuse victims at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. This was the largest child sexual abuse settlement by a public school district in history.  We are also the lead attorneys representing Olympic athletes and victims of former US Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar and secured $890 million in settlements for our clients. In each of these cases we have helped victims and families get justice by conducting a thorough investigation of the organization and the school In many cases we have discovered that administrators and executives know that the perpetrator was a danger to children and either did nothing or actively covered up the crimes.