Newton teacher arrested on child porn charges

Posted: 08/30/13 at 9:20 am EDT      Last Updated: 08/30/13 at 10:48 pm EDT

NEWTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Newton middle school math teacher was ordered held on $35,000 cash bail Friday on child pornography charges.

Steven Chan was charged with possessing and distributing massive amounts of child pornography. Police arrested the 57-year-old at his home in Newton Thursday night where they say he was downloading and distributing child pornography through an Internet file sharing system.

Police say they confiscated several computers and hard drives filled with child porn.

“On one of the internal hard drives contained thousands of images of girls under the age of 18…” said Patrick Fitzgerald, prosecutor.

“He is dismayed obviously. He was only arrested yesterday and looks forward to hiring private counsel and to defending this matter vigorously,” said Christopher Shannon, Chan’s defense attorney.

Chan teaches 6th grade math at the Day Middle school in Newton, and coaches gymnastics at Newton North high. Chan’s the second Newton teacher to be arrested on Child porn charges in the last two years. Former second grade teacher David Etlinger is now in prison. School officials say neither of the Newton teachers had past criminal records or complaints.

“Sometimes in life we tell our students there's the inexplicable. This is shocking and there’s no real way to explain or understand sometimes what human beings do,” said David Fleishman, Newton Schools Superintendent.

“Too bad. It’s a nice neighborhood, so I’m they caught them before school starts,” said neighbor Amy Westbbe.

Authorities say no Newton children are involved in Chan's alleged crimes.

“The Newton Public Schools are a safe place to be for all children,” said Setti Warren, Mayor of Newton.

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