HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A John Harris High School teacher is charged after police say they found hundreds of child pornography images on his phone.
Victor M. Ordonez was arrested Tuesday, Harrisburg police said. He is charged with eight counts of possessing child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, all felonies.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the high school on Sept. 12 after possible child pornography was leaked to students and faculty.
Ordonez, a ninth-grade history teacher, told investigators he was in his classroom and turned on the WiFi to his cell phone. He said the AirDrop program on his phone was open, and when he turned on the WiFi, he was sent several photos of what appeared to be a naked juvenile female.
AirDrop is a peer-to-peer service that allows Apple devices to share files over WiFi and Bluetooth.
Ordonez told police that once the photos appeared on his phone, he made school administrators aware of the incident. Administrators were not sure who the girl was in the photos.
Ordonez allowed police to seize and search his phone. An agent from the state attorney general’s office found the photos that had been shared and numerous others of nude girls. Ordonez also had files labeled “young naked pics” and “jail bait forums,” the complaint states.
A complete search of the phone on Sept. 17 turned up over 300 photos of nude girls, all appearing to be 8 to 14 years old, engaging in or simulating sexual acts, according to the complaint.
Ordonez, 42, of Harrisburg, was placed in Dauphin County Prison after he failed to post $25,000 cash bail, according to court records.
He has been placed on administrative leave and is not permitted on district grounds or near any Harrisburg students, a district spokeswoman said.
“Ordonez was hired by the school district in August 2017. He had completed all state and federal background checks and these were verified as recently as this summer 2019,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “Police do not believe the pornography found in his possession included photos or videos of any of his students.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31.