Pr. Ge­orge’s teacher faces child porn charges

The Washington Post - - METRO - BY LYNH BUI lynh.bui@wash­post.com

An el­e­men­tary school sub­sti­tute teacher for Prince Ge­orge’s County Pub­lic Schools has been ar­rested on charges of pos­sess­ing and dis­tribut­ing child pornog­ra­phy, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors ex­e­cuted a search war­rant Thurs­day at the Capi­tol Heights home of Christo­pher H. Speights, 34, and seized sev­eral elec­tronic de­vices con­tain­ing ma­te­rial of young chil­dren per­form­ing sex­u­ally ex­plicit acts, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land State Po­lice.

De­tec­tives in­ter­viewed Speights af­ter the search of his home, and po­lice charg­ing doc­u­ments say he ad­mit­ted to up­load­ing images of child pornog­ra­phy to a Drop­box ac­count with his cell­phone, tablet and com­puter.

De­tec­tives found 153 files con­tain­ing graphic photos and images, mostly of young boys about 10 to 12 years old, ac­cord­ing to the charg­ing doc­u­ment.

Greg Ship­ley, a spokesman for Mary­land State Po­lice, said it is too early to tell whether any of the images of chil­dren de­pict stu­dents with whom Speights in­ter­acted through coach­ing or teach­ing.

Speights has taught and coached at Brad­bury Heights El­e­men­tary School in the Capi­tol Heights area, court files state. Po­lice said Speights also is or has been a South County Sports Academy bas­ket­ball coach.

“We know he had child pornog­ra­phy on his de­vices and he also was in a job or jobs where he had as­so­ci­a­tions with chil­dren,” Ship­ley said. “To con­nect the two yet, we can’t say.”

In a state­ment, Prince Ge­orge’s County Pub­lic Schools said that the school sys­tem is aware of Speights’s ar­rest and that he no longer will work for the dis­trict.

Speights has worked for the school sys­tem for about nine years, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Mary­land State Po­lice be­gan look­ing into the case in De­cem­ber af­ter the Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing & Ex­ploited Chil­dren sub­mit­ted a tip from Drop­box flag­ging the pos­si­ble pos­ses­sion and distribution of il­le­gal con­tent, charg­ing doc­u­ments state.

Speights’s ar­rest comes about three months af­ter a former Prince Ge­orge’s County el­e­men­tary school teacher’s aide and vol­un­teer, Deonte Car­raway, pleaded guilty in fed­eral court to child pornog­ra­phy charges in­volv­ing more than a dozen stu­dents.

The school sys­tem said in a state­ment af­ter Speights’s ar­rest that “any be­hav­ior that brings harm to a child will not be tol­er­ated in any way in PGCPS.” Over the past year, it con­tin­ued, “we have made sig­nif­i­cant changes to in­crease stu­dent safety and re­main com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in a safe en­vi­ron­ment for all stu­dents.”

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