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Investigators seek possible victims of convicted North County child predator

Posted at 1:34 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 20:48:25-05

(KGTV) - Federal investigators are asking for possible victims of a convicted child predator and retired Vista school district high school teacher to come forward.

Tay Cooper, 67, pleaded guilty in 2018 to possessing child pornography. He was sentenced to one year in federal prison and seven years of supervised release. The judge ordered Cooper to pay $5,000 in restitution to the four victims identified in the images and videos.

Last September, Homeland Security Investigations agents received information from a potential victim who accused Cooper of sexual abuse.

The woman says Cooper abused her for eight years when she was a child.

RELATED: Former City Heights teacher sentenced for receiving child pornography

“Unfortunately child predators don’t usually stop. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case here with Mr. Cooper but we have to do our due diligence to find that out," said Cher Durst, HSI Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

Investigators worry there could be more victims due to Cooper's extensive teaching career, which includes 20 years at Rancho Buena Vista High School.

Also of concern was that Cooper was a beloved teacher, winning Teacher of the Year two years in a row while in Los Angeles County.

"He chaperoned trips, he initiated clubs, things of that nature in the school, which gave him really unlimited access to children in those school districts," said Durst.

RELATED: Sheriff's deputy and wife arrested on child porn and rape charges

Cooper retired in 2010 but his wife was a career educator in Carlsbad up until last year, worrying investigators he also could have also had access to children there.

"These cases serve to remind us of the vast underground world of child pornography where criminals like Cooper lurk. Too often we find that the more we scratch, the deeper the layers of abuse that these predators have inflicted." said Nick Annan, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego. "Internet crimes against children are a priority for HSI, and public tips are key to uncovering the layers, locating victims and bringing predators to justice for these heinous crimes."

Anyone who may have had previous contact with Cooper or has information relevant to the case is asked to call HSI San Diego at 760-901-1004.