Darin Pearson

An assistant principal who worked in Rock Hill has been arrested and charged with possessing child pornography.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of 32-year old Darin Pearson, where they found “electronic devices” containing child pornography photos.

Pearson, an assistant principal at Sullivan Middle School, was arrested Friday and charged with five counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. School district officials in Rock Hill said he was placed on paid leave.

The investigation began when CMPD received information from police in Nashville, Tenn., indicating that Pearson was suspected of trading child pornography. That’s when CMPD, along with the State Bureau of Investigation, went armed with a search warrant to Pearson’s Charlotte home.

“After the seizure and examination of electronic devices, evidence was located connecting Mr. Pearson to child pornography,” CMPD spokeswoman Jessica A. Lawrence said in a statement sent to reporters.

At the time of this posting, Pearson was being taken to the Mecklenburg jail, where Lawrence said he would remain in custody.

Administrators at Sullivan Middle School had been told of the arrest, Lawrence said, adding that CMPD was working with the U.S. attorney’s office in its investigation.

Lawrence said CMPD had no information indicating that any assaults on children had occurred in Charlotte.

According to the Rock Hill Herald, Pearson has been assistant principal at Sullivan since July 2007. Before that, he had taught at the school for about five years. A few years ago, according to the Herald, Pearson was named Sullivan’s “teacher of the year.”

Rock Hill School District spokeswoman Elaine Baker said in a statement that district officials considered Pearson “innocent until proven guilty.” After the investigation is completed, she said, his status with the district would be determined.

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