Phelan music teacher arrested for possession of child pornography

PHELAN, Calif. (KABC) -- A music teacher employed at three different elementary schools in Phelan was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Michael William Duffer, 41, was arrested on Thursday and booked into the Central Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in San Bernardino Superior Court on Feb. 17.

Duffer was part of the Snowline Joint Unified School District and worked at Vista Verde Elementary School, Wrightwood Elementary School and Heritage School. He also worked part time at First United Methodist Church in Redlands.

According to authorities, the principal of Vista Verde Elementary School reported Duffer after finding him partially undressed while watching obscene material on the computer in his classroom after hours on Feb. 2.

Officials with the school district then placed Duffer on administrative leave. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Crimes against Children Detail took over the investigation and confiscated the school computers Duffer used.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Duffer had been accessing child pornography from external storage devices and used the school computers as a way to view the material.

Detectives then searched Duffer's home, located in the 1200 block of Buttercup Court in Mentone, where the storage devices and other computers were found. Data analysis confirmed several files, photos and videos in the devices contained child pornography.

A letter was sent to students' parents regarding Duffer, who is said to have resigned from his teaching position.

The district also reported the allegations against Duffer to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Division of Professional Practices.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective David Clifford of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Crimes against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the We Tip Hotline at (800) 782-7463 or the We Tip website.

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