A longtime Vernon school teacher and coach was arrested Monday morning on multiple counts related to child pornography and voyeurism, according to police.
Christian Stevenson, 52, was arrested and charged with importing child pornography, second-degree illegal possession of child pornography, eight counts of voyeurism, nine counts of disorderly conduct, four counts of voyeurism with a child under 16 years of age and four counts of risk of injury to a minor, police said.
Stevenson worked at Rockville High School until a recent resignation, according to arrest warrants in the case. In addition to teaching at the school police said Stevenson worked as the school's varsity golf coach.
Police said some of the charges are related to upskirt images taken surreptitiously of underage students inside the school.
Digital forensics analysis was used in the case to track some of the images back to Stevenson, a detective stated in the arrest warrants.
Stevenson was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 15 when school officials learned of the investigation from the police department, the superintendent said. Stevenson resigned the same day and no longer works for the school district.
In searching through three email accounts flagged by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, police found a number of images that appeared to have been taken inside the school, police said.
According to an arrest warrant, the images were taken inside Stevenson's classroom, hallways, the library and at school sporting events. Some photographs were taken while Stevenson was sitting at a desk or walking behind students in the hallway, police said.
In one case, police said they found 35 photographs of a then 17-year-old student that were taking in Stevenson's classroom that were taken at various angles and distances, but focused on her buttocks. Police have since spoken with the student, who confirmed the photos were taken of her in one of her social studies classes without her knowledge or consent back in 2018.
"[The student] mentioned that she still owned the shorts she was wearing in the photographs and now felt the need to burn them," a detective wrote in the arrest warrant.
In another case, police said they found 10 photograph of a then 15-year-old student that were taken in 2019 in an American studies class. Four of the photographs were looking up the student's skirt from across the classroom while other photos focused on her buttocks, police said. Police said Stevenson also had saved two photographs from the student's Instagram account.
When police spoke with this student, who is now in college, detectives said she was "extremely distraught" and could only look at one of the photographs taken of her.
"[She] became emotional and began crying..[The student] explained that [she] was devastated because she respected STEVENSON so much," according to the arrest warrant.
"The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. Vernon Public Schools expects all staff to strictly adhere to the district’s high standards of professional conduct and code of ethics," Vernon Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Macary said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.
In addition to the photos of students, police said in Stevenson's email accounts, they found images of young girls, some clothed and some naked, posing in "a sexually explicit manner" while other photos showed young girls engaged in sexual acts with adults.
Police said they were able to determine that 42 images on Stevenson's devices and in his accounts meet the statutory requirement to be considered child pornography.
Police said Stevenson used fake email accounts to store the images in an effort to avoid detection.
Stevenson was held on $300,000 bond and was expected to be arraigned Monday, police said.
Police are asking parents who think their child might be a victim to contact the police department.
They are also asking anyone with information about the case to call Vernon police detective Thomas Van Tassel at (860) 872-9126.