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Northern High teacher arrested on child porn charges, officials say

Written by Gordon Rago, York Daily Record / Sunday News | Sep 9, 2015 11:30 AM

(York) -- A Northern York County School District chemistry teacher has been placed on administrative leave after state and local law enforcement officers say he had digital files suspected of containing child pornography.

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Brandon Deck

The high school teacher, Brandon Deck, 27, was arrested last Friday after a search warrant was served at his home in the 100 block of Melbourne Lane in Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, the state Attorney General's office said.

In all, officials said, thumb drives, hard drives, a computer and a tablet were seized.

Both Upper Allen Township Police and the AG's office helped make the arrest, said Jeff Johnson, a spokesperson with the AG's office.

A preliminary review of the electronic media found six images of suspected child porn. There are an additional 36 images, Johnson said, as the AG's Computer Forensics Unit will continue its investigation.

Deck was charged with six counts of possessing child pornography and one count each of distribution of child porn and criminal use of a communication facility.

The school district sent an email to parents Tuesday morning, notifying them that a teacher had been charged and that the administration is fully cooperating in the investigation. The district was made aware of the charges on Friday.

"There is no evidence to suggest that any misconduct occurred on district property or involved any district students," the email, shared by Superintendent Eric Eshbach, stated.

Deck had just started his fourth year as a chemistry teacher at Northern High School, Eshbach said. While not commenting on Deck as a teacher, Vangie Unti, supervisor of administrative services, said Tuesday, "there was never any indication that something like that would ever happen."

According to Jeff Johnson with the Attorney General, the investigation began this summer when a patrolman with West York Borough Police was conducting a file-sharing investigation and found an IP address that was later linked to Deck.

Typically, these investigations begin when police search peer-to-peer file sharing networks and later get court orders to link the IP, or Internet Protocol, address to the home address of the suspect.

"The gentleman with West York Borough Police was basically the person who kick-started things," Johnson said.

He said the patrolman is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigation, Johnson said, dates back to mid-June.

Northern York County School District said in the email to parents that if their child has questions about the arrest, or is in need of counseling, they can contact the principal and/or guidance counselor at whichever school the child attends.

It is not clear whether Deck has an attorney, but online records show he was released from prison after posting $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18.

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This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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