MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A 40-year-old man has been indicted on sexual abuse charges for allegedly being in possession of child pornography, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office.
Brett Cunningham has been charged with two counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and eight counts of second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.
The district attorney's office said the investigating begin in April when the Oregon Department of Justice received a cybertip from an internet company that discovered one of its users possibly uploaded images of child pornography.
In May, the Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a court-authorized search warrant and recovered electronic media that was then submitted for forensic evaluation, according to the district attorney's office.
During the investigation, the district attorney's office said law enforcement learned that Cunningham is a licensed teacher in Oregon and that he worked most recently at an elementary school in Hillsboro.
None of the charges against Cunningham allege physical contact with a minor, according to the district attorney's office.
The Hillsboro School District confirmed that Cunningham was a teacher at Orenco Elementary School. He was placed on administrative leave in May and did not returned to the school.
The school district began its own investigation and initiated the pre-termination process.
Cunningham resigned on Sept. 14 in lieu of termination, according to a letter sent to Orenco Elementary School families.
"Obviously, we are devastated by this situation. The safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority, and we have zero tolerance for behaviors that could jeopardize students’ welfare," Principal Allison Combs wrote in the letter.
To read the full letter, click here.
On Monday, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Cunningham. He appeared by phone in Multnomah County Circuit Court for an arraignment on Friday.
No further details about the investigation have been released at this time.
The district attorney's office is asking for the public's help in the investigation given Cunningham's access to children.
Anyone with information should contact Oregon Department of Justice Special Agent Tyler McCourt at 503-934-1107.
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