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PD: Officers repulsed by child porn on teacher aide's computer

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Alvin McClellan booking mug. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Alvin McClellan booking mug. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Alvin McClellan (Source: Facebook) Alvin McClellan (Source: Facebook)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

The home computer of a Scottsdale middle school teacher's aide contained photos and videos of child pornography that forced officers who had to review it to look away, police said.

Veteran police officers said the photos and videos were some of the worst abuse they've ever seen. At one point, investigators said they had to temporarily stop looking at the evidence, it was so repulsive.

"This is a type of crime that strikes at the most vulnerable members of our community," said Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

Alvin Ray McClellan, 44, who works at Mohave Middle School as a special education teacher's assistant, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a class-two felony. Shocked parents said he also worked as a gym teacher.

He was arrested Wednesday after the police department served a search warrant at his apartment.

A court document stated investigators found hundreds of still images and videos on a computer hard drive depicting the sexual exploitation of children between the ages of 1 to 12. 

Although state law requires fingerprints and background checks be performed and submitted to the Department of Public Safety on all non-certified personnel, including teacher's aides, DPS said it has no record of McClellan's results.

The Scottsdale Unified School District on Thursday told CBS 5 News that McClellan had been placed on administrative leave. District officials then released the following statement:

"Although we cannot comment on any specific employee, SUSD conducts background checks on all employees. SUSD does not permit any employee to begin work prior to completion and review of background check results. Pursuant to the AZ DPS Noncriminal Justice Fingerprint Compliance Program, SUSD is not permitted to confirm or deny the existence of an individual's criminal history record to the public or to any unauthorized individual or agency."

On Friday, school officials released this statement:

"On Wednesday, March 5th, Alvin McClellan, Mohave Middle School Aide, was arrested by the Phoenix Police Department. He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor - stemming from Internet crimes. Upon learning this information from the Phoenix Police Department, the Scottsdale Unified School District placed Mr. McClellan on Administrative Leave. Scottsdale Unified School District and Mohave Middle School continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement.

"Any act that harms children is unacceptable to a community and its school district. The safety and security of our students is a priority to Scottsdale Unified School District. The allegations against Mr. McClellan, if true are abhorrent. At this point, we have no knowledge that any SUSD students were victims. We continue to fully support the Scottsdale and Phoenix Police Departments in their investigation of this matter. A full background check was completed and the results met all criteria to be employed."

[Click here to see McClellan's background check]

The school district refused to divulge any more details about McClellan's employment at the school.

Detectives from the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force served the search warrant around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

Besides his school employment, McClellan was also an instructor for DrivingMBA for about one year working with teens. The company fired him upon news of his arrest. Owner Maria A. Wojtczak told CBS 5 News McClellan passed a background check to gain employment.

Wojtczak emailed a statement:

"We have just become aware of the fact that Al McClellan, a teacher's aide with Scottsdale Unified School District and an instructor for DrivingMBA, has been arrested on allegations of child pornography. The purpose of this communication is to make you aware of the situation and to have you to speak to your children to determine if there has ever been any inappropriate conversation or behavior on the part of Mr. McClellan with your student. Effective immediately Mr. McClellan has been deactivated as an instructor for DrivingMBA."  

On Wednesday, after news of the arrest surfaced, the school district emailed a statement:

"The Phoenix Police Department is currently investigating the situation. The Scottsdale Unified School District is fully cooperating with the Phoenix Police Department on this investigation. You will need to contact the Phoenix Police Department for additional information. SUSD does not comment on current or former employees."

A mother who contacted CBS 5 News after getting an automated message from the school's principal saying only that a teacher's aide had been arrested, said the district and school should have provided more information to parents.

"It's sickening, really," said Chelsie Rutherford, whose daughter is a seventh-grader at Mohave Middle School. "It makes me very nauseous. Just thinking that person could've taken pictures of my daughter. My daughter could be in those pictures. I think they should've been very forthcoming. If they know the name, we should know the name. We should know if our child was in contact."

People who may have information about the crimes are encouraged to call the Internet Crimes Against Children Detail at 623-466-1828. They can also call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377) or 480-TESTIGO (480-837-8446) for Spanish. 

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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