Berkeley school district contractor arrested on child pornography charges

Photo of MLK Middle School
Can Jozef Saul/Staff
The suspect was contracted to work at multiple BUSD schools through Elevo Learning, an organization that provides coaches to supervise students.

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A Berkeley Unified School District after-school-program contractor was arrested on charges of child pornography at his home in El Sobrante on Feb. 10, according to information released by Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jimmy Lee.

According to Lee, the Contra Costa Sheriff Office’s High-Tech Crimes Unit launched an investigation into the alleged possession and distribution of child pornography following information provided by the Contra Costa County Internet Crimes Against Children, or ICAC, task force.

The suspect, 21-year-old Muhammad Yousuf Khan, was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, Lee said.

BUSD spokesperson Trish McDermott said Khan was not a teacher in BUSD, but a contracted employee through Elevo Learning, an organization that provides coaches who supervise students both inside and outside of the classroom.

McDermott added that Elevo confirmed Khan’s contract was terminated and was assured that Khan would never work in BUSD again.

“The school principals moved quickly to work with the district to get a message out to school staff and families,” McDermott said in an email.

Khan worked at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Thousand Oaks Elementary, according to Berkeleyside. While he was a playground supervisor, he was never alone with students and always in the presence of another BUSD employee, said Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School principal Janet Levenson.

Parents were sent a letter with resources including tips for parents on how to talk to children about personal safety and provided information on “age-based online games for learning about online privacy and safety,” McDermott said.

Lee declined to comment on any other aspects of the investigation, but encouraged anyone with information relating to the ongoing investigation to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division.

“The safety of our students is a top priority for the district,” McDermott said in the email. “We will cooperate fully with law enforcement as they complete their investigation.”

Contact Anna Armstrong at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @annavarmstrongg.