A Marblehead High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave after he and 10 other people were arraigned on child pornography charges stemming from an undercover operation by Rhode Island State Police, officials said.
William Morgan, 30, of Marblehead, was released on personal recognizance Thursday after making an initial appearance in Third Division District Court in Warwick, R.I., on felony charges of possession and transfer of child pornography, State Police said.
Morgan and three of the other defendants had jobs that could put them in contact with children, State Police said.
Members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began an investigation two months ago to identify suspects sharing child pornography, officials said.
Through the operation, search warrants were obtained and executed across the state. The searches led to the arrest of 11 individuals on charges of owning illegal images and videos, State Police said.
All but one of the individuals were released on personal recognizance, State Police said. Morgan was released on $10,000 personal recognizance, which means he did not have to post bail upfront, but will have to pay that amount if he fails to report for his next court date.
Morgan has been barred from access to any Marblehead public school buildings, property, or events, School Superintendent Maryann Perry said in a prepared statement.
“We have been advised of this arrest by the Rhode Island State Police,” she said. “As you know, by law we are prevented from commenting on the details of personnel matters.”
State Police said their investigation is continuing. The school is also investigating the allegations against Morgan, Perry said.
“As always, the safety and welfare of our students is our highest priority, and we will take all precautions and measures necessary to protect our students,” she said.Melissa Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter@Melissa_Hanson.