OAKLAND – An Alameda County prosecutor said Monday that a one-time distinguished Fremont teacher has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of possessing child pornography.
Michael Schoop, 51, of Pleasanton, was arrested in early October and originally charged with four counts of child molestation and one count of possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $150,000 bail in late November.
As part of the plea deal struck Aug. 29, Schoop will be placed on five years' probation and will have to register as a sex offender, according to Deputy District Attorney Kevin Murphy. Murphy said the plea deal was made with the “understanding and knowledge” that Schoop will shortly plead guilty to similar charges in federal court.
Murphy said Schoop will probably serve at least 18 months in federal custody in that case.
Oakland police started investigating Schoop when a man who was then 45 years old alleged that Schoop – a distinguished teacher and one-time foster parent – had allegedly molested him for several years, beginning in 1972.
Oakland police investigators said at the time of Schoop's arrest that the accuser came forward after reading a laudatory newspaper article on Schoop's teaching methods.
Murphy said today that justice has been served by the plea deal.
“The victim in the case was aware of everything that was going on and is satisfied with the disposition,” Murphy said.
“Our primary goal was to have Mr. Schoop register as a sex offender so he cannot teach in California public schools and hopefully not in any other schools,”' he said.
Bruce Nickerson, Schoop's attorney, did not return a message seeking comment.
Schoop is scheduled to be sentenced in Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 17.