Central Ohio School Official Facing Child Pornography Charges


For more than 120 years, Mount Vernon Academy in Knox County says part of its mission is to help students reconnect with God.

Since August of last year, 35 year old Michael Smith was an Assistant Dean of Men and tasked with helping the school uphold that mission.

"The positions of Assistant Dean on this campus is a volunteer quasi internship opportunity for people who are exploring career options," said Dan Kittle, principal of the Mount Vernon Academy.

But the Knox County Sheriff's Office said Smith is now facing two felony charges because of what they found on his computer.

"There is shock. there is confusing," Kittle told 10TV's Jason Frazer.

The school's principal says, in February, investigators contacted him about someone using their computer network to illegally transmit pornographic material.

Knox County Investigators arrested Smith on Thursday after they say they found 24 files of child porn on his computer.

"At this juncture there is no indication that there were any student involvement, no pictures of students," said Kittle.

School officials say Smith volunteered with the school since August 2012. He was terminated from Mount Vernon Academy earlier this week. 

Court records show Smith is now facing two felony charges, including pandering sexual oriented material involving a minor.  He's due back in court on March 22nd.

The boarding school says it has notified parents and students about the incident. It is also taking steps to beef up its security online.

"Anyone that logs into campus and logs into my system should not have any expectation of privacy," said Kittle.

The school said it has hired an outside company to help identify potential security risk on its computer network.

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