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Former substitute teacher for Pentucket schools arraigned on child pornography charges

A former substitute teacher for the Pentucket Regional School District was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on child pornography charges, the Essex district attorney’s office said.

Kenneth Niven, 24, of Merrimac, pleaded not guilty in Newburyport District Court to charges of possession of child pornography and photographing an unsuspecting nude person , the district attorney’s office said in a statement.

He was placed on a $15,000 bail and ordered to stay away from, and have no contact, with anyone under 18 years old. He must also not use social media, the statement said.

Merrimac police found two alleged child pornography photos on Niven’s phone, the statement said.


Niven is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on July 19.

The case remains under investigation.

Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said in a letter sent to families Tuesday evening that Niven has been fired from being an “on-call” substitute teacher and the district is cooperating with the police investigation. He is not allowed on district properties per a no-trespass order as well.

“We are outraged and disturbed by the allegations presented, and we pledge to continue to assist in whatever way we can with the police investigation,” Bartholomew said in the letter.

Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.