Pawtucket teacher arrested on child porn charge

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A teacher at Shea High School who was arrested for possession of child pornography has been placed on administrative leave.

State Police said George Grimes, 46, of Warwick, was arrested after they received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual uploaded one image showing a pre-pubescent girl to a cloud-based storage account.

Police said they investigated the complaint and traced the uploading IP address to Grimes. Technicians also found that the email address linked to the cloud-based account was the same address associated with Grimes’ school account.

A court-authorized search of Grimes’ home address on Narragansett Parkway in Warwick led police to find “alleged child pornography,” state police said in a release. Police also said they seized numerous pieces of digital media for further analysis.

“Certainly there is a quantity of alleged child pornography. At this point, how much it’s going to be – we really don’t know,” said Major Todd Catlow.

Grimes, police said, is employed as an English teacher at Shea High School. Police said the investigation is still ongoing, but they said there is no evidence at this time that indicates Grimes had any inappropriate contact with children.

In a joint statement, interim School Supt. Patricia DiCenso, School Committee Chairman Michael Araujo, Police Chief Paul King and Mayor Donald R. Grebien reassured parents and students that any wrongdoing by a school employee will be immediately addressed, investigated, and followed to its full conclusion.

“The safety of our schoolchildren is our number one priority at all times. The Pawtucket School Department is fortunate to have so many teachers, staff and administrators who are totally dedicated to the welfare of our students on a daily basis,” said DiCenso in a written statement.

“While I cannot directly address the matter that arose today which remains under investigation, it is important that the community know that the alleged individual was immediately placed on administrative leave and will have no contact with our schoolchildren or be allowed on school property until this matter is concluded at all levels and a final determination is made, including any internal action that may be warranted.”

Grimes was arraigned at Third Division District Court on Thursday and released on $10,000 personal recognizance. He was also ordered to have no contact with children and forbidden from using the internet.

Grimes’s case isn’t the first instance of criminal charges within the Pawtucket School Department. Eyewitness News has reported on four employees arrested since November, including Slater Junior High School teacher Richard Koster, who’s accused of lifting and pinning a student against a wall while yelling at him; Slater substitute teacher Warren Tassone, who was accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl; and Curtis Elementary School teacher Melissa Jerrett, who’s accused of stealing colleagues’ car keys and putting them in her purse.

 

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