Posted: 7:13 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Investigation finds Albany teacher was guilty of sex with juvenile students

James Izumizaki, Albany Middle School teacher accused of lewd conduct with a student
James Izumizaki, Albany Middle School teacher accused of lewd conduct with a student

ALBANY, Calif. —

Albany Police released a report to the school district Wednesday that said there was "incontrovertible" evidence that a former middle school teacher engaged in sexual acts with two students before he killed himself last year.

James Izumizaki, 28, a sixth-grade teacher at Albany Middle School, was arrested at his Albany home on in September 2012 on suspicion of performing lewd acts with a child under the age of 14. He posted bail the following day and was released.

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office was reviewing the case and his arraignment tentatively was set for October of that year, but he hadn't been charged by the morning of October 1, when he was found dead in his car on Via Alamitos in San Leandro.

The investigation continued after Izumizaki’s death, after a judge approved a probable cause warrant enabling police to search his home, which provided evidence in the case.

In a letter to the Albany Unified School District’s superintendent, Albany Police Chief Michael McQuiston that the almost six-month investigation revealed that Izumizaki “engaged in unlawful sexual activity involving two juvenile students.”

Besides witness testimonies, police say he left behind photos and videos on his computers that support the allegations of abuse.

“Albany Police executed nine search warrants, analyzed data extracted from seven cellular telephones and four personal computers and conducted over 30 interviews,” wrote McQuiston. “As I have previously said, it was important to recover as much of the digital evidence as possible to protect the victims and prevent it from being perpetually obtainable via the Internet; I believe we were successful in this regard.”  

In addition, police say Izumizaki surreptitiously made sex videos of juveniles and adults, and possessed child pornography unrelated to the investigation.

Albany School District Superintendent Marla Stephenson sent a letter to district parents warning of the investigation’s results having been released to the media.

“We want to alert you to the fact that this information is public so that you can think about how you want to handle this news in your family. Our teachers will NOT be making announcements about this matter to their classes,” said the letter.

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