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Posted at 07:56 PM ET, 04/07/2011

Alexandria teacher arrested on child porn charges

A fourth-grade teacher in Alexandria was arrested on child pornography charges and acknowledged that he has downloaded and viewed inappropriate images of young girls for “a long time,” federal authorities in Virginia said Thursday.

Justin Coleman, 35, a dual language teacher at John Adams Elementary School, was arrested Wednesday evening, authorities said. He had a pair of girls’ pink panties in his pocket, court papers say, and told agents he had gotten them from an 11-year-old Russian girl he met through an international program. Court papers did not specify how he may have known the girl.

Alexandria schools spokeswoman Kelly Alexander said school officials are “not aware of any sort of inappropriate behavior on his part at the school.”

Alexander said Coleman was hired by the district in 2005 and has placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the case.

According to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Coleman, who was charged with receipt of child pornography, told agents he stole a backpack from school that contained panties and jeans and that he kept the panties. Court papers say he also said he had spied on a young girl changing her clothes, but the documents do not indicate where that occurred.

Coleman told agents that there is a “Justin at home and a Justin at work” and he said he was afraid they would ”mesh together,” the documents state.

In a letter prepared to send to parents, Alexandria school officials said a teacher had been arrested but did not specify the charge. They said a team of counselors, school psychologists and staff would be available to answer any questions.

According to court papers, authorities searched Coleman’s Falls Church home on Wednesday. They found “numerous” pornographic images and videos, the documents state.

By  |  07:56 PM ET, 04/07/2011

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