He will serve four years and four months in prison for production and possession of child pornography

ATASCADERO — District Attorney Dan Dow announced that San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Jesse Marino has sentenced Chris L. Berdoll (52) of Atascadero to serve four years and four months in state prison for his convictions of 25 felony counts of production and possession of child pornography, involving 17 separate victims. 

The crimes took place while Berdoll, was employed as a teacher at the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. Berdoll’s plea of no contest to all counts was entered on Oct. 26, after Judge Marino indicated at the time of the plea that he would sentence Berdoll to serve only three years in state prison even though the Deputy District Attorney objected to such a light sentence.

After reviewing the pre-sentencing report prepared by the Probation Department, the District Attorney’s sentencing memo, and hearing from several victims and their family members, Judge Marino imposed a four-year and four-month prison sentence. 


At the time of the plea and again at the time of sentencing, the District Attorney’s Office objected to the three-year sentence indicated by the Judge and urged the Court to impose the maximum sentence of 19 years. The Probation Department recommended a sentence of five years and eight months.

“Crimes against children must be strongly punished, particularly when committed by those with influence or in a position of authority over the victim,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “While it is disappointing that the Judge did not impose a stronger sentence against this former teacher, our office will continue to advocate for appropriately tough sentences against all child predators.”

At the sentencing hearing, one parent highlighted that although the convictions involved specific individuals under the law, Berdoll’s predatory breach of trust worked to victimize the entire student body of Atascadero Fine Arts Academy, noting that “he hurt hundreds of victims.”  

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Danielle Baker, who is assigned to the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, and was investigated by the City of Atascadero Police Department with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of the charging document can be found here
A copy of the prosecutor’s sentencing memo can be found here
And a copy of the defendant’s booking photo can be found here

Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.