SC principal charged after Nashville man accused in child porn - WSMV News 4


SC principal charged after Nashville homeless man accused in child porn

Posted: Updated: March 11, 2013 05:14 PM
Earl Arnold Jr. Earl Arnold Jr.
Darin Pearson Darin Pearson

The arrest of a Nashville homeless man, caught videotaping kids at a downtown high school, has led to child porn charges against an assistant principal at a South Carolina middle school.

Several concerned viewers contacted Channel 4 News last month, worried because they said a man would stand outside Hume-Fogg Academic High School on Broadway and record teen girls. Then, the videos would appear on YouTube under titles like 'Teen cutie leaving school,' 'Teens at bus stop' and 'Teens leaving school.'

"It's horrifying," said Tina Melendy, parent of a Hume-Fogg student.

The videos are no longer posted online, and the user's YouTube account has been terminated for what the website calls severe violations.

"I have a hard time understanding why," Melendy said. "This seems like base-level behavior that could turn into a much bigger issue. I just want to know why he was filming teens and find out what's the purpose."

Metro police began investigating and said the man did not break any laws in recording the girls outside the school or posting them online, but during the investigation, detectives discovered something else that now has him in custody.

Earl Arnold Jr. is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Police said Arnold voluntarily consented to a search of his cell phone while officers investigated the claims he recorded video of girls at Hume-Fogg.

While searching his phone, police found pornographic nude images of a child under the age of 10, according to Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

Arnold remains jailed on $75,000 bond.

Now, the investigation has led charges against Darin Pearson, an assistant principal at Sullivan Middle School in Rock Hill, SC.

Police said Pearson, 32, faces five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

Pearson, a former teacher at the South Carolina school, was named "Teacher of the Year" in 2007, according to WBTV, and has served as an assistant principal at Sullivan since July 2007.

The Rock Hill school district told Channel 4 News he has been placed on administrative leave as the police investigation continues.

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