Mooresville teacher-in-training accused of having child porn

slyttle@charlotteobserver.comDecember 10, 2013 

Michael John Bernatchez, 26, of Mooresville, was arrested on charges of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, investigators said.

IREDELL COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

A Mooresville man who authorities say planned to begin student teaching next fall has been accused of having child pornography on his computer, Iredell County authorities say.

Michael John Bernatchez, 26, was arrested late last week, the sheriff’s office said. He is charged with seven counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

“At this point in the investigation, there is no indication of any student or school involvement in these matters,” sheriff’s Maj. Darren Campbell said Wednesday.

Authorities said Bernatchez was participating in a college teaching internship program at East Mooresville Intermediate School. They say he planned to begin student teaching in the fall 2014 semester.

A citizen contacted the sheriff’s office on Nov. 30, deputies say, and reported that a person might have child pornography on a computer. Sgt. Amy Dyson obtained a search warrant and seized the computer, then contacted the SBI for help, investigators said.

The sheriff’s office said computer files contained numerous videos and photos of children involved in sexual activity. Authorities said the computer contained “other information which will be used in this investigation.”

Bernatchez was jailed with bail set at $50,000, the sheriff’s office said.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle

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