An Alameda man arrested and charged in San Francisco last week for trying to meet underage girls he met over the internet for sex has a long resume as a teacher and librarian in Bay Area schools, including a long stint in Oakland.
One of his former colleagues at Oakland Unified School District said today that she brought suspicions about 45-year-old Emmanuel Ellison to her superiors two years ago. Shortly after that, he was no longer employed by the district.
But Ellison went on to work at the Alameda Unified School District in a similar capacity for the 2014-2015 school year. He resigned to seek employment elsewhere, school district spokeswoman Susan Davis said.
He then worked at the Escuela Bilingüe Internacional, a private North Oakland school offering education in both English and Spanish for students from age 3 until the eighth grade.
San Francisco police said last week that Ellison was arrested on Thursday after a nearly month-long investigation by its Internet Crimes Against Children unit. Police released few details about the investigation, but said Ellison had been contacting a young girl through social media and attempting to meet her for sex.
In the course of the communication, he allegedly sent the girl several graphically sexual images of himself, police said.
Police arrested him in Alameda and he was booked into San Francisco Jail. Prosecutors charged him with two felony counts of sending harmful material to a minor and two misdemeanor counts of arranging to meet with a minor for sex, according to district attorney's office spokesman Max Szabo.
Ellison was scheduled to appear in court this afternoon, prosecutors said.
Renae Wilber, a former librarian for Oakland schools, raised concerns about him to her superiors when she was employed in 2013 and 2014 after he confessed to her that he was a sex addict, Wilber said in an interview Wednesday.
The two were colleagues at a library shared by Manzanita Community School and Manzanita SEED, two elementary schools that share a campus at 2409 E. 27th St., Wilber said. Wilber worked for Manzanita Community School and Ellison worked for Manzanita SEED.
One day when Ellison came in to work, he was obviously distressed, she said. Wilber said she asked him what was going on and he refused to tell her, but eventually confessed that his wife had discovered he was a sex addict.
Wilber said he didn't specify what exactly he meant by that or whether his issues had anything to do with children, but she became concerned for the students at the school.
"In that moment, I kind of froze because what he was telling me was much bigger than I knew what to do with," Wilber said.
Because of that, she didn't report his confession for months, and he told her he was in therapy. But eventually Wilber sent him an email saying he had to come forward and discuss it with his principal. Instead, she said,he reported that she was harassing him.
This led to a meeting with Ellison, Wilber and the two school principals, she said. During the meeting, she brought up his confession, but he said he had been joking when he told her that. When she was given the minutes of the meeting, it had no reference to that, Wilber said.
Ellison continued working at the library through June 2014,according to his LinkedIn profile, but was no longer employed there after that. Wilber said she resigned from the school in 2014 for unrelated reasons.
During an exit interview with a member of Superintendent Antwan Wilson's staff, Wilber said she brought up Ellison again, but by then he no longer worked there.
Oakland Unified School District spokeswoman Valerie Goode confirmed that Ellison worked for the school district between 2007 until 2014, but said she was aware of no evidence of illegal activity during his employment there.
"It is Oakland Unified School District's highest priority to ensure the security and safety of our students," Goode said.
Jon Fulk, the head of Escuela Bilingüe Internacional, said in a statement Wednesday that he learned of Ellison's arrest only through media reports, but pledged to cooperate fully with law enforcement.
Fulk said by the time Ellison was arrested he was no longer with the school, but did not say why Ellison's employment there ended.