Teacher kept working throughout child pornography investigation
BURLINGTON, N.C. -- A local teacher remained in his job for weeks while police investigated him for possessing child pornography and did not notify school officials where he worked.
Steven Douglas Adams Jr., 33, of Greensboro, began teaching at Burlington Christian Academy in August 2015.
Greensboro police Det. Jeff Flinchum said in September 2015, the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating an IP address that eventually led them to Adams. By Feb. 9, Flinchum had obtained a search warrant and seized three computers from Adams' home. On each computer, Flinchum said he found photos and videos of child pornography.
Michael Brown, principal at Burlington Christian Academy, said he was never notified of the investigation.
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"We're very perplexed," Brown said. "I'm perplexed as to why there wasn't some notification. He taught at our school and we were not made aware of that."
Flinchum said the school was not notified because it could have compromised the investigation.
"Notifying the school at some point was something I was going to do," Flinchum said. "But there was just no evidence that anyone at the school was involved or being victimized. I never observed any images that appeared to pertain to any hands-on offenses being done either at the residence or at the school."
Adams was never formally charged. Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Reese explained that, after the search warrants were obtained for his computers, Adams hired an attorney. Reese said she and that attorney then met and agreed to an Alford plea -- a legal move that admits there was enough evidence to convict him, without admitting guilt. Adams was given 36 months probation and registered as a sex offender.
Reese said that agreement was finalized March 31.
The principal for Burlington Christian Academy said a background check was conducted on Adams when he was hired and at that point he had no criminal record.
Adams left the school in mid-March, according to Brown, citing family reasons.
"Our understanding was that his grandmother was ill, but we've since found out he resigned because of this situation," he said.