*Content Warning: The Following News Article mentions Child Pornography Related Charges*
If you recall in December 2020, Koza was arrested for Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. Koza who also went by “Steady” and “Steady Studios” to his manga work, was an English-language translator for several of Viz Media’s Shonen Jump manga properties. Following the collaborative investigation with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce and the Herndon Police Department arrested near Wolftrap Virginia, the town also took part in the investigation, which was led by a Herndon Detective, according to the crime report.
The case went through the Fairfax County General District Court before moving to the county’s Circuit Court, where a grand jury indictment advanced eight charges of possession of child pornography — a felony.
Authorities conducted a search warrant at the family home last year, officers tried to get the resident to open the door, and Koza immediately called 911, saying people were banging on the door.
Authorities also mentioned that “After being instructed to open the front door for police, Koza removed internal components of his desktop tower computer, ran out of the basement exit, ran through some yards, ran to the edge of a wooded lot…where he threw computer component(s).“
He reportedly ran back toward the residence, and when authorities questioned him, he said that he “panicked when he realized that police were at the door” and removed the components to “hide any trace of his child pornography downloads on the BitTorrent network,” according to a court document.
Koza apologized to the authorities and admitted to having been arrested in Japan for hiding a GoPro Camera in a dressing room or changing room at an elementary school as part of an exchange program. Koza, who was 26 at the time and a US Citizen at the time of his arrest in Japan reportedly became an assistant language teacher (ALT) at the school in August 2009. Koza’s LinkedIn profile stated that he was an ALT on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program at an unspecified elementary school in Japan from August 2009 to July 2014. Also mentioned in the court document, he was given three years probation, removed from Japan, and ordered back to the U.S.
The Tysons Reporter requested a comment from Koza’s attorney but didn’t receive a response at press time. Meanwhile, a year ago Viz Media Responded to a recent request for comment from both Anime News Network and Crunchyroll stating “Stefan Koza was not a full-time/permanent, salary employee at VIZ, he is an independent contractor. We do have several translators who are freelancers/independent contractors working across a wide array of properties including those Mr. Koza has contributed to, and therefore Mr. Koza’s personal life will not have an impact on the release schedule of upcoming titles.“
Source: Tysons Reporter
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