Teacher investigated for child porn

December 14, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
The SBI is investigating a Durham teacher for possibly sharing child porn over the Internet.The SBI and Durham police searched Willem Pet's home last week and seized computer files and other records. Pet is currently a teacher at Southern Durham High School.

On Friday, school officials suspended Pet with pay once they learned he was being investigated and accused of sharing child pornography.

The 61-year-old has been teaching English as a second language to students at Southern Durham High School for the last three years.

But it's what authorities say he did with pictures of children over the internet that could cost him his job and land him in prison.

In search warrants filed Monday, SBI agents allege that Pet shared more than 1,800 pornographic images of children over the internet. Some of the captions read "pedo sex, daughter incest."

Some include images of children as young as 1 and 2-year-olds on up to 12-years-old.

The SBI discovered Pet's alleged activities, while training local law enforcement on how to catch internet predators and child pornographers.

Their search warrant details some of the photos they say Pet shared with them --most involve pre-pubescent girls who were naked and engaged in sexual acts.

"Our SBI computer crimes experts work tirelessly to track down criminals and protect children," said Attorney General Roy Cooper in a statement released to the media. "We're also working to train more local officers to go online and catch these criminals so they can't hurt our children."

While Pet teaches teenagers at Southern High School, school officials say they have not been told that any of the images included students.

Pet will likely face federal charges of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Once he's charged he'll likely lose his job.


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