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Mesa high school teacher indicted on child pornography charges

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PHOENIX — A Mesa high school teacher was indicted Tuesday after federal officials found multiple child pornography images on his personal computer.

Kyle Wade Cummins, a social studies teacher and a coach for the boys’ junior varsity basketball team at Mountain View High School, was indicted on five child pornography-related charges.

Court documents showed that Cummins was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Cummins allegedly knowingly received “visual depictions that involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct” from March 13 to April 16. Court documents showed that he received at least 39 images containing child pornography during that time period.

The grand jury found that Cummins also had at least 19 more images of minors in sexually explicit positions stored on a hard drive.

Court documents described the subjects in multiple images as girls who were younger than 10.

FBI agents executed a search warrant on Cummins’ home April 25, when the teacher admitted to using BitTorrent, a “communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing,” on his personal desktop to search for child pornography images.

Cummins, according to court documents, admitted to using the BitTorrent software to download child pornography for his personal viewing. He also said he was unaware that the files he was downloading were being shared.

The Mesa teacher also allegedly admitted to viewing child pornography for about six years.

Cummins said he would look at the images on a personal computer when his wife and son were not home and would delete the files afterward.

Court documents showed Cummins was arrested April 25. He was released on his own recognizance May 2 and was placed on home arrest at his mother’s home in Chandler.

He was also ordered to stay off the Mountain View campus and was barred from having unsupervised contact with minors.

Helen Hollands, a Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman, said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM that Cummins was “immediately” placed on paid administrative leave and assigned to home once district officials learned of his arrest.

She said the district will use findings from the investigation and district policies “as the basis for any future employment decisions regarding Cummins.”

Hollands also said she was “not aware of any complaints regarding his behavior with students.”

Cummins was represented by a court-appointed attorney.

His next court appearance was scheduled for May 23.

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