Inland Empire Teacher Arrested For Inappropriate Photos, Child - Fox 2 News Headlines

Inland Empire Teacher Arrested For Inappropriate Photos, Child Porn

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Perris, CA -

In legal talk, what school teacher Eric Samuel is first accused of doing is called "Child Annoyance". Sounds like he was snapping rubber bands at a kid or pulling some girl's ponytail in class but while it may sound like legal light, it isn't.

The child annoyance the 37 year old science teacher who taught at Lakeside Middle School in Perris is accused of is taking "inappropriate" pictures of female students in class with his cell phone – as in pictures focusing in on their breasts and buttocks only.

Yeah if true, that's bad.

But the charges get worse. Much worse.

Because when investigators seized his home computer – most likely to see if he'd saved any pictures from his cell phone to his hard drive, what they reportedly found took the case to a whole new level of disturbing.

According to the Riverside Sheriff's Department, "Computer analysis of the teacher's computers revealed several videos and pictures containing child pornography".

Child porn, say police, on a teacher's computer.

After a three month investigation that started May 30th when those students in Perris reported "Mr. Samuel" making them feel uncomfortable by taking what felt like very strange pictures, Eric Samuel was arrested Tuesday at his home in Moreno Valley.

Knowing he was under police investigation and already placed on administrative leave by the Val Verde Unified School District, he had resigned some time during the summer.

Parents, as one can expect were both surprised and saddened. Everyone seemed to like the teacher although no one seemed really shocked. "It happens everywhere", one mom said to me. Sadly, she's right.

And then there was Laura who stopped by at the school because she wanted to make sure someone spoke out on Eric's behalf. She's a mom too – her kids are now grown – and Mr. Samuel was once their teacher but now he's a family friend, the kind that comes over for dinner. The kind that officiates at your daughter's wedding.

You see, according to Laura, Eric Samuel has a higher calling. He's not only a teacher (which is also a higher calling, in my book), he's an ordained minister and he recently performed her daughter's wedding.

Wow, Mr. Samuel is also Reverend or Pastor Samuel who now is Inmate Samuel at the County Detention Center pending the posting of $5000 bail.

Eric Samuel is innocent of course until proven guilty, and as I told Laura, he will have his day in court.

If the opposite is true, and he is found guilty it will be a sad day.

A teacher and a minister, such noble callings. Higher callings, where trust isn't necessarily earned, it is just usually given; assumed.

A sad day indeed.

(FOX 11) A Inland Empire middle school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of taking inappropriate photos of girls who attend the school, in addition to possessing child pornography at his home, authorities said Tuesday.

37-year old Eric Michael Samuel was allegedly taking photos of the students at Lakeside Middle School using his cell phone. Administrators reported to the Sheriff's Department on May 30th that Samuel had shot photos of female students without their knowledge that focused on their "chests and buttocks", a sheriff's news release said. Samuel was then reportedly placed on leave from teaching.

Police investigators then served a search warrant at Samuel's home in Moreno Valley and found "several videos and pictures containing child pornography." Samuel was then arrested Tuesday at his home and is now being held at the Southwest County Detention Center in Murrieta while the investigation continues. A $5,000 bail has been set.

Samuel, who taught science at Lakeside Middle School, is no longer employed by the Val Verde Unified School District.

Anyone with further information relating to this case is asked to call investigator John Wyatt of the Perris Police Department at (951) 210-1000

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