Preschool Teacher Pleads Guilty in Child Porn Case

By Buffy Spencer
The Republican Newsroom

July 10, 2008

SPRINGFIELD - Former preschool teacher Edgar L. Selavka will spend one year in jail after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.

Selavka, 50, of Easthampton, worked with young children at the People's Institute and the Center for Early Childhood Education at Smith College. He was also the director of Christian education at Edwards Church.

He pleaded guilty in April to 11 counts of possession of child pornography in Hampshire Superior Court. Selavka was sentenced today to 2A? years in the Hampshire County Correctional Center, with one year to be served and the rest suspended with seven years of probation.

Edgar L. Selavka will spend a year in jail for possession of child pornography
Photo by BOB STERN

The sentencing yesterday was in Springfield because Superior Court Judge Judd J. Carhart, who took the guilty plea, is sitting in Springfield this month.

Selavka stood and addressed the judge, apologizing to "the citizens of my community," his friends who had to read about his acts in the newspaper, his family "who had their names tarnished," "my ex-wife who knew nothing about this," and his daughter who has had to deal with losing a close relationship with her father and with a disruption of her world.

He also apologized to the parents of his students, to his students and to the "the thousands and thousands of excellent teachers" who face a stigma when something like this happens.

Selavka said he grieves for the children exploited in the pictures he possessed, saying he feels guilt that he never thought about their exploitation.

Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Jane E. Mulqueen asked for the sentence which Carhart imposed.

"Every piece of child pornography is a memorialization of child abuse," she said.

Selavka was arrested after a security guard at Thornes Marketplace found his backpack in a men's rest room there, with its contents strewn about. In addition to Selavka's wallet, there were numerous photographs of naked children, some depicting them in sexual acts with adults. Selavka had reported it stolen.

Defense lawyer Michael O. Jennings unsuccessfully asked Carhart to not incarcerate Selavka but to sentence him to probation, so he can continue with sex offender treatment.

Conditions of probation once Selavka is released from jail include that he continue sex offender treatment; continue his current medications; continue substance abuse counseling; and have no unsupervised contact with minors.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.