CORAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County junior high school teacher was arraigned Thursday on charges he possessed child pornography and shared it over the Internet, police said.
Christopher Teague, 34, of Coram, was arrested Wednesday after police said they received a tip from the New York State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
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Longwood Junior High School in Middle Island is not yet back in session, but parents, teachers and students stopping by for books and class schedules on Thursday appeared incredulous when they learned that Teague’s computers, discs and hard drives, which were seized during a search of his home, allegedly contained explicit images of multiple pre-pubescent children engaged in illicit acts. Police were tipped by the Internet provider, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“There is no indication that Mr. Teague conducted this behavior using school computers, nor has there been any indication of physical contact between Mr. Teague and his students at Longwood,” said Det. Sgt. John Sumwalt of the Suffolk County Police Computer Crimes Task Force.
Teague was charged with possessing a sexual performance by a child and promoting a sexual performance by a child.
Outraged parents said that trust has been shattered.
“For this teacher to be doing this is absolutely insane. These are our children. We protect our children,” Longwood parent Karen Eigenbrodt said.
Teague comes from a family of law enforcement. His distraught mother nearly collapsed, gripping another son and the arm of her shaken husband as they left arraignment court. Teague’s lawyer suggested others had access to his client’s computers.
“He’s a teacher, someone who loves dealing with kids, and loves teaching and loves what he does. So, he’s obviously devastated by these charges, as is the family,” attorney Michael Brown said.
The Longwood School District reacted swiftly, issuing the following statement: “Mr. Teague has been placed on an administrative leave of absence and will not have any contact with students pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.”
Police are now investigating whether the school teacher contacted children during video chats or online messaging, trying to drum up more interest in kiddie porn.
Teague maintained his innocence. A judge ordered him held on $50,000 bond.
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