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Certified behavior technician appears in court in child porn case

Columbian - 4/26/2018

April 26--A certified behavior technician at a local autism therapy center for children and young adults appeared Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Sean T. Saito, 24, of Vancouver is facing 10 counts of first-degree possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Saito had worked at the Center for Autism & Related Disorders in Vancouver for about 1 1/2 years, court records state. An online search shows he worked at the east Vancouver location.

He was first issued a certified behavior technician license July 18, 2017, and it was reissued Feb. 20. There is no current enforcement action against Saito's license, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Jabiz Zolfaghari, general counsel for the center, said Wednesday afternoon that Saito is not on the company's employee roster. He would not say if Saito was previously on the employee roster.

Saito has denied ever touching a child, court records state.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Saito's fiancée contacted Vancouver police Saturday after finding a thumb drive in a night stand belonging to Saito. She said she was looking for her résumé files but instead found what she suspected to be child pornography on the thumb drive.

The woman decided to contact police, she said, because she's concerned about the fact that Saito works with autistic children on a daily basis, the affidavit states.

An investigator with the Vancouver Police Department's Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit conducted a forensic analysis of the thumb drive and found at least 10 images of child pornography -- some including bestiality -- depicting boys and girls between the ages of 6 to 13 years old, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, police searched Saito's residence and arrested him during a traffic stop.

While being interviewed, court records state, Saito admitted the thumb drive was his and said he's been looking at child pornography for a number of years. He also admitted to communicating with minors over the internet and obtaining images of topless females. Saito said he has also sought out pornography depicting rape and death, court records state.

Saito reportedly has no prior criminal history. He was appointed a defense attorney during his hearing, and his bail was set at $10,000.

He will be arraigned May 8.


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