Pickerington Times-Sun

Pickerington student suspended amid allegations of accessing child porn

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

A Pickerington Lakeview Junior High School student has been suspended after allegedly accessing child pornography during class.

A 14-year-old boy at Lakeview was reportedly transported to the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center Jan. 16 after being accused of bypassing the Pickerington Local School District’s Internet filters to access child pornography via a school computer.

As of Thursday afternoon, Jan. 23, the ThisWeek Pickerington Times-Sun was unable to confirm with the Fairfield County Juvenile Court or juvenile prosecutors if the boy had been charged, but Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office officials said they presented evidence that could result in a felony and two misdemeanors being levied against him.

Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker said Thursday student-privacy laws prohibited him from discussing many details of the case, but confirmed the boy had been suspended.

Walker also said the boy was scheduled to appear Thursday in Fairfield County Juvenile Court for a probation violation.

“He is a special-needs student,” Walker said. “The violation of probation was this incident.”

Walker declined to confirm if the boy was in seventh or eighth grade.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a possible felony charge of pandering obscenity and misdemeanor charges of unauthorized use of property and displaying matter harmful to a juvenile have been presented to juvenile prosecutors.

Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Lape said the boy allegedly accessed child pornography during class on a school computer Jan.13, and multiple classmates observed the material.

Some students then told their parents and the information was presented to school officials, Lape said.

He said an Internet history search by school officials confirmed illegal material had been accessed, and Lakeview Principal Michelle Watts reported it to the school resource officer Jan. 16.

“Somehow he was able to bypass the school filter,” Lape said. “I’m not exactly sure how he did that.

“From what I understand, he wasn’t intentionally sharing it. He was observed by other students.”

The sheriff’s office did not disclose the boy’s name.

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