Former substitute teacher sentenced in child porn case

SAN DIEGO — An Oceanside man who once worked as a substitute teacher for the Temecula Unified School District and as a private tutor for children was sentenced Friday to more than 16 1/2 years in prison for distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.

Marlin Lee Gougher, 59, was convicted of the crimes in September.

Jurors concluded at trial that Gougher possessed two laptop computers containing more than 300 child-pornography videos, some of which showed children under age 5 being raped by men.

In handing down the 200-month custody term, U.S. District Court Judge William Hayes described the images as “horrific and heartbreaking” and called them the worst he had ever seen.

Victims of child pornography suffer psychological damage “that can’t be undone,” Hayes said.

“They don’t get a determinate sentence,” Hayes said.

U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman denounced Gougher’s crimes as especially disturbing in light of how the defendant had earned his living.

“All child exploitation cases are heinous, but the actions of this defendant, whose profession afforded him special access to young students, are particularly appalling,” Braverman said. “We will use the full resources of the Department of Justice to seek the longest sentences possible for those who victimize children.”

No one has accused Gougher himself of any sexual misconduct, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.