Former ARC Student Arrested on Child Porn, Extortion Charges

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO--

Christian Hirtzel only spent two years at American River College, but in that time he became well-known in the theater department.

"He was very high energy, he was very lively, he contributed a lot to the theater," said ARC student Jacob Tucker.

The 21-year-old is behind bars in the Sacramento County Jail on six felony charges ranging from distributing child porn to extortion and computer crimes.

"Because I thought I knew him, I found it very hard to believe," Tucker said.

Court documents name eight women, some of them minors. Hirtzel is accused of using threats and extortion to gain access to money and other property and knowingly using minors to assist with "obscene matter."

"To push yourself to the point where you use extortion, there's something wrong with your heart as well. It's not just a pornography addiction, there's something wrong with your heart," said ARC student Daniel Madrid.

A spokesperson for American River College told FOX40 Los Rios police began investigating Hirtzel back in 2014 after some female students reported him to the dean.

"We also commend those students who courageously came forward to assist in this investigation. As always, we encourage the campus community: if you see something, say something."

Los Rios Police arrested Hirtzel in late January.

While some fellow theater students are relieved he's behind bars, they're also upset.

"I feel bad that he's in jail, it's not a place for a guy to be with so much talent, but at the same time you have to let the process work out," said Omba Kipuke.

Hirtzel is due back in court April 12.