A 53-year-old Southbridge Middle School teacher faces child pornography charges after he allegedly attempted to purchase live webcam sex shows involving Filipino children ranging from 4 to 14 years of age.
Federal agents arrested Scott Peeler at his Worcester, Massachusetts, home Tuesday morning. He is charged with charged with attempted receipt of child pornography and attempted enticement and coercion of a minor.
An FBI affidavit says a warranted search at his home Monday found evidence of child pornography on his computers.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Peeler acknowledged he owned the Yahoo! email account and instant messaging system used to solicit the videos, but allegedly denied purchasing any videos.
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Peeler has not been accused of any wrongdoing involving his students. The Superintendent of Southbridge Public Schools said the school department is "extremely alarmed" by these charges and they have placed Peeler on administrative leave.
School officials are expected to address the allegations against Peeler at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Peeler is being represented by assistant public defender Oscar Cruz and remains in the custody of U.S. marshals, court records show.
Statement from the Superintendent:
"Today the Southbridge Public Schools was made aware of Federal charges involving a school department employee. The Department of Justice informed the School Department that the employee was being charged with attempting to purchase live video sex shows involving Filipino children. The School Department is extremely alarmed by these charges and has taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of our students. We have placed the employee on administrative leave, ensured that the employee is not currently involved in any summer programming, and have requested a no trespass order through the police department. In addition, we are cooperating fully with all Federal and local law enforcement agencies as this investigation continues. There will be a community meeting at the Southbridge Middle/High School next week with local and federal law enforcement agencies to answer questions from parents, teachers and community members."