Local teacher charged with receiving child porn

Montgomery County

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Department of Justice reports that Kristen Blair Hiltunen, 36, of Amsterdam, appeared in federal court on Wednesday on a child pornography charge.

A criminal complaint charges Hiltunen with using a social media messenger to access child porn—usually referred to by advocates as “images of child sexual abuse”—in July. She reportedly communicated and received images from a minor victim.

Hiltunen is reportedly on administrative leave as a teacher at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons private Catholic school in Schenectady. This is the text of the letter sent to the school community from Principal Kiante Jones:

I regret to have to share this news at the beginning of a new school year.

We have been informed by federal law enforcement authorities in Albany that a member of the high school faculty at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons was arrested on a charge of receiving child pornography from a minor. The teacher, Kristen Blair Hiltunen, has been placed on administrative leave pending resolution of the case.

I strongly urge any student, parent or staff member who has information about this or any related matter to contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Williams at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albany. The number is (518) 431-0247.

Please know that appropriate teaching coverage for Ms. Hiltunen’s classes has been arranged and that we stand ready at all times to provide counseling and support to any member of our school community.

Hiltunen faces between five and 20 years if she’s convicted, along with at least five years of parole and $250,000 in fines. She is in the custody of law enforcement pending a hearing set for September 13.

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