GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WJRT) — A mid-Michigan elementary school teacher is facing two charges after Michigan State Police say he had child pornography on his computer.
Police arrested 44-year-old Kevin Patrick Quarles, who is an elementary school teacher at the International Academy of Saginaw, earlier this week. He was arraigned Thursday on charges of child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime.
Police say none of Quarles’ students at any school he’s worked at were involved.
The Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit began investigating Quarles after they obtained information that he was sharing child pornography on the internet.
Investigators seized electronic devices from Quarles and allegedly found child sexually abusive material.
“It can start as just viewing files online and using that for your own self gratification; but at some point, that may not be enough for that individual. They may start to look for opportunities to have hands-on offenses with the local live children that they know,” D/Sgt. David Vergison said. “Who knows where this could’ve led to, if we didn’t take action.”
Again, Vergison is confident no students at Quarles’ current school or any other school he’s taught at are involved in this case.
“The individual’s employment was suspended immediately. The school’s leadership, including myself, is cooperating with the state and local authorities and is committed to the well-being of all of our students,” said School Director Kandi Thomas.
MSP’s statewide task force receives hundreds of tips weekly from social media sites, cloud storage services and community members.
You can report suspicious activity anonymously at michiganicac.gov, or call 1-877-MI-Cyber.
The website also includes internet safety resources and a list of community outreach events.
MSP says this is a good place to start when it comes to educating children on what’s appropriate behavior with other adults.
But for parents, how can you trust the people you allow with your children?
Vergison said this isn’t a crime a district or a school would be able to screen for.
He explained, “Individuals that are engaging in viewing and downloading child pornography are in all walks of life. You know, they’re well off, they’re, you know, less than wealthy, they’re blue collar workers, they’re teachers, they’re in the church setting, they’re coaches. I mean, you really just have to be aware of who you’re letting your children spend time with.”
Some things to be suspicious of include any one-on-one time your child spends with another adult. Also, any unusual phone conversations happening at odd hours of the day or night.
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