That's when investigators say they came across 32-year-old Darin Pearson, assistant principal at Sullivan Middle School in Rock Hill.
Pearson, the administrator over the 6th grade class and former "Teacher of the Year," was arrested on Friday and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
He was later released after posting bond.
"[I] had no clue," Rock Hill School District #3 Spokesperson Elaine Baker said. "No nothing, thought he was a great guy."
On Thursday, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department received information from the Metro Nashville Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The information involved Pearson, who was involved in trading child pornography photographs, according to the release.
Police, along with agents from the State Bureau of Investigation searched Pearson's residence. After the seizure and examination of several electronic devices, evidence was located connecting Pearson to child pornography.
The school district says officers notified officials on Friday morning about the arrest.
School officials told WBTV that Pearson, who has served as an assistant principal at Sullivan since July 2007, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
He has also served as a teacher at Sullivan from August 2002 until May 2007 and was a substitute teacher prior to that time. Pearson was named Sullivan Middle School's "Teacher of the Year" in 2007.
School officials say they have no evidence students at Sullivan were victims.
Baker says his work iPad was at his home and it is now in evidence with CMPD. Two computers and an iPad touch found in his office were brought to the district offices for security reasons.
Rock Hill police issued a warrant and picked up the equipment on Monday.
"We don't expect it involves any student at Sullivan," Baker said. "And we hope it does not."
According to CMPD, there is currently no information that leads detectives to believe any assaults on children have occurred in Charlotte.
CMPD is now working with the US Attorney's officer concerning this case.
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