School Counselor Arrested on Child Porn Charges After 'Catfishing' Probe

A school counselor in Nevada has been arrested on suspicion of producing and being in possession of more than 250 child pornography images and videos.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that Tyler Ball-Imsdahl, 29, was arrested over crimes related to production and possession of child pornography on Thursday, July 8.

An investigation into Ball-Imsdahl, an employee of the Washoe County School District, was launched towards the end of May after Yahoo reported suspicious emails containing explicit images of boys.

During an investigation, more than 250 suspected images and videos of child abuse were located through emails and electronic devices connected to Ball-Imsdahl, after detectives served multiple search warrants to gather digital evidence.

Deputies believed that the suspect was able to lure his young victims using a technique known as "catfishing" where people pretend to be someone else online and social media platforms while communicating with others.

"In this case, the false representation was meant to obtain sexually explicit photographs and videos," the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Police have managed to identify eight of the victims allegedly found on Ball-Imsdahl's emails and devices, although detectives say many more potential local victims have not yet been identified.

"This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected," the sheriff's office added.

The Washoe County School District confirmed that Ball-Imsdahl, who worked at Desert Skies Middle School, was suspended without pay following his arrest.

"This an ongoing investigation, and I do not have any further information to share," District Spokesperson Victoria Campbell told the Reno Gazette Journal.

The district said Ball-Imsdahl has been on administrative leave since June when police started investigating the 29-year-old. It is unclear how long Ball-Imsdahl has worked for the district, but public records state it has been at least since 2019, reported the Reno Gazette Journal.

Washoe County Detectives conducted the investigation into Ball-Imsdahl alongside the Northern Nevada Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

The Internet Crimes Against Children-Child Exploitation Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, the Sparks Police Department, the Nevada Attorney General's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has been contacted for an update into the investigation.

Detectives are asking anyone with knowledge of this case to please contact the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detectives Division at (775) 328-3320. Or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900. Refer to case number: WC21-2421.

 Tyler Ball-Imsdahl,
Tyler Ball-Imsdahl, a school counsellor in Nevada, has been arrested for alleged possession and production of child pornography.