Nation

Ex-teacher who spied on students gets 25-year term

Eric Justin Toth (shown after his arrest in Nicaragua in 2013) spent five years on the run, assuming fake identities and living in Arizona and Texas before escaping the country.

Esteban Felix/Associated Press file

Eric Justin Toth (shown after his arrest in Nicaragua in 2013) spent five years on the run, assuming fake identities and living in Arizona and Texas before escaping the country.

WASHINGTON — A former Washington elementary school teacher who became one of the FBI’s most-wanted criminals after taking hidden video of his students using the bathroom and then eluded law enforcement officials by assuming fake identities and escaping to Nicaragua has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Eric Justin Toth spent five years on the run, living in Arizona and Texas before escaping the country. In 2012, the FBI put him on its ‘‘Ten Most Wanted’’ list, where he filled a vacancy created by Osama bin Laden’s death.

Advertisement

Before sentencing him Tuesday, a judge noted his skill at evading law enforcement and the large number of victims in the case, 17 in all.

Toth had asked for 22 years in prison, expressing remorse and promising to ‘‘do penance’’ for his deeds. A prosecutor asked for 30.

Get Breaking News in your inbox:
Find out about important news stories as soon as they break
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

‘‘I know I’ve hurt people, a lot of people,’’ Toth told Judge Rudolph Contreras at a federal court hearing.

Toth, 32, became choked up while speaking, at points tearing up but at others attempting to joke. Toth, who will spend a lifetime on supervised release after he leaves prison, mentioned Google Glass and said he told his lawyer he could wear glasses that allow officials to ensure he is staying away from children.

He promised to spend his time in prison ‘‘trying to do penance in whatever humble ways I can.’’ Toth previously wrote in a letter to the judge that one of the things he wants to do is train seeing eye dogs as part of a prison program.

Advertisement

The prosecutor overseeing the case acknowledged that Toth had never distributed the images he took of children under his care. But she told the judge that Toth is ‘‘deeply disturbed and needs treatment.’’

Toth fled Washington in 2008 after images of child pornography were found on a camera he had used while a teacher at Beauvoir, a private elementary school.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.