The Culpeper County schoolteacher who was arrested this week for allegedly possessing numerous computer images of young girls in sexually explicit poses was a teacher's aide in Prince William County.
Paul John Pandazides, 31, of Woodland Drive in Triangle, faces charges of possession of child pornography after Virginia State Police officers allegedly seized several images of girls as young as 3 from his personal computer. Pandazides turned himself in to authorities Wednesday and was released on bond.
Prince William School Superintendent Edward L. Kelley said this week that Pandazides was a teacher's aide at a county school until leaving the system two years ago. Police said Pandazides had recently received wages from Culpeper schools.
The pornography charge is a misdemeanor. Additional charges are pending against Pandazides for allegedly attempting to lure teenagers into sexual relationships with him, state police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said this week. An officer with the state police high-technology crime unit had been tracking Pandazides on the Internet since the beginning of July after a 15-year-old Stafford girl reported that the teacher was searching out a 13-year-old girl for sex, Caldwell said.
"Apparently he had been having initial conversations online with this teenage girl of a sexual nature," Caldwell said. "Based on this case and our investigation, the officer went undercover and online as what the suspect thought to be a 13-year-old female."
In a search warrant affidavit filed in Prince William County Circuit Court, the undercover officer signed on to America Online posing as a 13-year-old Stafford girl and was immediately engaged in normal conversation by Pandazides, through instant messages. The conversation, according to the search warrant, quickly transformed into talk of sex and sexual situations, with Pandazides asking explicit questions and suggesting possible sexual scenarios.
"The suspect then asked [the undercover officer] if she would go to a hotel with him," the affidavit says. "He then asked when [the officer] wanted to hook up stating that he was serious about this and hoped she was. He made reference that there were not many 13-year-old girls who wanted to go out with a 31-year-old.
Using the screen alias "Markaging" on AOL, Pandazides told the undercover officer that he was an eighth-grade math teacher, and he listed his hobbies as poetry, pictures, cars and sports. After additional conversations on AOL, Pandazides set up a specific time and place for the two to meet, asking "if they were going to have sex" at that time, according to court documents.
Police raided Pandazides' home Wednesday, discovering the photographic images during a cursory search of his computer, Caldwell said.
Staff writer Christina A. Samuels contributed to this report.