A California man revealed to his wife in September that he was once convicted of child pornography in New Jersey while they were considering adoption.
Matthew Coda, 47, of Menlo Park promised her that he kicked the habit, but she wanted to make sure for herself. After enlisting the help of a “techie friend,” she quickly discovered that he was not telling the truth. She gave a tip to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The police launched a months-long investigation and found well over 3,000 images of child pornography.
Coda was arrested this week while deplaning at San Francisco International Airport and booked into Maguire Correctional Facility.
While California authorities are still searching through details of his prior conviction, they discovered that he worked in a “technical field.” They also found his volunteer service in 2015 at a Half Moon Bay Library, where he tutored children in a reading program.
The public library said that it hadn’t received any complaints of Coda’s conduct. Despite this, authorities are still investigating his time there.
San Mateo County Manager’s Office spokesperson Michelle Durand detailed the background check process for library volunteers.
“All library volunteers must submit an application and be fingerprinted prior to starting their volunteer work,” she said. “Mr. Coda cleared the screening process and volunteered with the Half Moon Bay Library’s reading club program. This program is held in the public area of the library, and volunteers are visually supervised by library staff at all times.”
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe called Coda’s wife “an incredibly savvy person” for her decision to come forward with the information.
“She didn’t just look around herself and leave it at that,” he said. “She enlisted someone who had real technical skills.”
The man initially brought up his past because he believed it would come out in a background check during the adoption process. Upon discovering the disturbing images, Coda’s wife was said to have kicked him out of the house and filed for a divorce.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sherriff’s Office Detective Gaby Chaghouri at 650-259-2314, email Gchaghouri@smcgov.org, or leave an anonymous tip with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 1-800-547-2700.