Alexandria teacher charged with child porn

April 7, 2011

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 underwear in his pocket, court papers say, and told agents that 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.

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

Alexander said that Coleman was hired by the district in 2005 and that he has been placed on paid administrative leave 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 that he stole a backpack from school that contained the underwear and jeans and that he kept the underwear. 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 to be sent 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 workers would be available to answer any questions.

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

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