A former Assistant Principal at Sullivan Middle School in Charlotte resigned after being accused of sexual exploitation of children by local police. A search of Darin Pearson’s work computers and Ipod dead-ended the sex offenses investigation however, when no illegal pornographic images of children were found. The Rock Hill Police have closed the sex crimes investigation.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police had received a tip from the Nashville police indicating that Pearson may have been involved in a child porn ring run by a homeless man in Tennessee based on Pearson’s phone number being in that man’s cell phone. An investigation ensued, likely resulting in the untimely resignation of the sixth grade Assistant Principal.
False accusations of sex crimes can be immensely destructive, especially when, as in this instance, the person involved has built his career around working with children. Pearson had been a teacher for five years prior to becoming an Assistant Principal. He was named Sullivan Middle School’s Teacher of the Year in 2007.
The man in Nashville was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. He allowed law enforcement to search his Iphone. Police found explicit images of minors that had been shared or traded with others. The Nashville man had been caught by local police filming high school students and putting the images online to sell or trade.
According to news reports, the case remains open with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police as well as with the State Bureau of Investigation. There has been no indication that the FBI or other federal agency has been involved, despite the allegation that pornographic images were sent, through phone messaging systems, across state lines.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Police: No child porn found on former Rock Hill educator’s school computers,” April 15, 2013