An Ashland man who lives in the same house as a home-based kindergarten was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trading child pornography online.
Benjamin Beauregard Mycko, 32, of the 700 block of Jaquelyn Street, Ashland, was arrested by Ashland police on charges of first- and second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.
He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $35,000 bail, where he remained Wednesday evening.
Mycko lives in the same house where another family member operates a home-based private school called The Children's Garden. Lt. Mike Anderson of the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force said investigators don't believe Mycko helped run the school.
Mycko was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the residence and school while children were present, Anderson said.
Anderson said the task force is still trying to determine whether any of the children at the kindergarten might have had any contact with Mycko.
Police so far have not found any evidence that any of the children in the pictures or videos in Mycko's possession attended The Children's Garden.
"He did not have any part of running the kindergarten," said Anderson. "He could see the children, but he didn't have an active role in working with them."
Anderson said the High Tech Crimes Task Force is working with the Department of Human Services, the Ashland Police Department and the owner of the school to interview the children.
According to Jackson County property records, the home where Mycko was arrested belongs to Claire Marie and Jennifer Holtzman. Calls to the home were not returned Wednesday.
According to court records, Mycko's mother lives at the Jaqueline Street address, and Mycko is not to have contact with minors or return to the house if his bail is posted.
The task force began looking into Anderson's alleged activities Jan. 11 as part of an ongoing investigation of people in the area trading child pornography.
"We go out and proactively see who's trading on peer-to-peer networks," Anderson said.
A preliminary hearing for Mycko is scheduled for Feb. 25.
Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.