Former Brownsville children's museum employee arrested on possession of child pornography charge
A former employee of the Children's Museum of Brownsville has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
Daniel Moldstad was arrested on Jan. 28, and released on a $150,000 bond on March 1, according to federal court records.
Court records show that during an interview with federal agents at the museum, Molstad admitted to receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography.
Channel 5 News reached out to Molstad's attorney for comment, but did not receive a response.
In a statement, the museum’s executive director Felipe Peña said the museum’s commitment to the well-being of visitors is top priority, starting with how they evaluate and train employees, including thorough background checks.
The Brownsville museum says authorities have assured them that no one in the museum was affected by the incident, but there are still concerns in the community.
Channel 5 News spoke to parents at a nearby park about concerns regarding future visits.
“We really need to come together as a community and say that we're not going to be defeated by anything that's happening,” said Brownsville grandfather Manuel Garza. “This is happening all over the world. It happens all over the country."
"I don’t want to shelter them and not take them anywhere, but just [have] constant supervision,” said Brownsville mother Lizbeth Ponce.
Constant supervision is something Adina Alegria, a mom and executive director for the Texas Valley Educators Association, is echoing.
"I have a 16 and 14-year-old and I don't even let them go out to spend the night at people's houses, because we never know,” Alegria said.
Working with educators who focus on student safety, there is one concern among some parents and teachers.
"You think about in terms of these students going on different field trips. It only takes one second. It takes one second for a child's innocence to be lost,” Alegria said.
While Alegria is not calling for a full-on ban on visits, she does think school district administrators need more parent volunteers to make sure a child is never left unattended.
For the museum's entire statement click here, or read below:
"For more than 15 years, the Children’s Museum of Brownsville has been a central point of pride for our community, providing active, hands-on learning for children in a safe, welcoming, and interactive environment.
Our commitment to the well-being of our patrons is our top priority. This starts with how we evaluate and train employees (including completing thorough background checks for every hire) as well as onboarding and training volunteers. At every step of the process, safety is at the forefront of everything we do at the museum.
Recently, a former staff member of the museum was removed by authorities. We remain assured that no wrong doing occurred in the museum and are confident in our measures to keep families safe.
In addition to ongoing surveillance, our practices and policies ensure our annual 60,000 patrons that the Children’s Museum of Brownsville continues to be a safe space to enjoy. We’re also gearing up for busy spring break and summer seasons as we’ve already had a great visitor turnout this year.
Thank you for your continued support of our organization and our work to promote A World of Learning through the power of play.
Sincerely, Felipe Pena III
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