Former Chandler teacher surrenders certificate SanTan Sun News

Former Chandler teacher surrenders certificate

April 27th, 2020 STSN Staff
Former Chandler teacher surrenders certificate
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Santan sun NEWS STAFF

A former Chandler educator has surrendered his teaching certification after authorities accused him of photographing students inappropriately and possessing erotic images of young girls.

Charles Kidder, who had been teaching science at Arizona College Preparatory-Erie up until last November, voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate earlier this year.

The Arizona Board of Education officially rescinded Kidder’s credentials on April 20, requiring him to wait at least five years before he can re-apply for certification.

Authorities began investigating Kidder last summer after the Tempe Police Department was tipped off about someone living in Kidder’s home viewing content that sexually exploited children.

Another man residing at the home was later connected to the content, but Tempe Police opened a separate investigation into Kidder after detectives questioned him during a search of his residence.

Kidder allegedly told investigators he had an attraction for 16-year-old girls because “that’s when they begin to look like women,” according to a police report. The suspect further told authorities he frequently visited a website called “primejailbait.com” to look at pictures of teenage girls.

Kidder knew it was “not right” to view this material, police said, and admitted to trying to delete pornographic files he had saved on his computer.

“(Kidder) claimed he did not know why but he could not bring himself to get rid of the files entirely,” the police report states.

An inspection of Kidder’s electronic devices allegedly turned up at least 180,000 erotic images, several of which showed underaged girls undressing. Tempe Police couldn’t file criminal charges because the girls were only partially nude and had parts of their bodies covered up.

Arizona law requires pornographic images to display specific body parts in order to charge a suspect with sexually exploiting a minor, a Class 2 felony that carries a prison sentence of five years for first-time offenders.

Police reported finding at least one image in Kidder’s possession that allegedly met those statutory requirements, resulting in a grand jury indicting Kidder earlier this year on one count of sexual exploitation.

His case is still pending in Superior Court.

Authorities also uncovered evidence on Kidder’s devices suggesting he had been taking photos of his female students at school. According to police, investigators found a large quantity of pictures taken inside a classroom of Willis Junior High, where Kidder taught for several years before moving over to ACP-Erie in 2017.   

“Photos taken inside the classroom were mostly of females and many appear to have been taken without the student children knowing they are being photographed,” detectives wrote in a report.

Kidder allegedly told police his attraction to teenage girls started when he began teaching at the middle school. He would sometimes look up students on social media and download photos from their personal accounts, which he would allegedly use for sexual gratification, according to police.

The Chandler Unified School District claims it never received any complaints about Kidder before he resigned in November 2019. Shortly after authorities advised the district of Kidder’s alleged behavior, Chandler Unified sent out a letter to advise parents of the situation.   

“It is important for you to know that the Tempe Police Department has confirmed that there is no evidence that any former or current CUSD students were victims of a crime,” the letter stated.

By surrendering his teaching certification, Kidder gave up his legal right to challenge the allegations that were submitted to the Board of Education. Teachers who are accused of misconduct can request a hearing before the board and present evidence to disprove the state’s allegations.

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