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Former Mesa teacher arrested on suspicion of sharing child exploitation materials

CHENG HSUAN TSAI mugshot.png
Posted at 4:54 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 20:24:11-04

MESA, AZ — A former Mesa teacher was arrested this week after authorities say he was sharing child exploitation materials online.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said 29-year-old Cheng-Hsuan “Eric” Tsai, of Mesa, appeared in court Friday morning.

Tsai is reportedly facing 20 counts of distribution and possessing images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Authorities said an investigation, in part with Mesa police, led to the identity of Tsai who was arrested Thursday.

HSI said the investigation into Tsai began in February where an unknown suspect was accessing, downloading and disseminating child sexual exploitation material electronically.

During the investigation, detectives discovered multiple instances where Tsai was in close contact with unclothed children at the school he worked at.

A Maricopa County judge set Tsai's bond to $1 million.

At the time of the arrest, Tsai was working as a teacher at Tempe Montessori School in Mesa.

Anyone who may have had previous contact with Tsai or may have information about the investigation is asked to call HSI Phoenix at (602) 200- 2200.