Scottsdale teacher's aide arrested on child porn charges

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Tess Rafols and Steve Ryan

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 1:18 PM

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A teacher's aide at Scottsdale's Mohave Middle School was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Police said that about 6:30 a.m., detectives from the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force served a search warrant at Alvin Ray McClellan's Scottsdale apartment near Hayden Road and McDonald Drive. They reportedly found numerous child pornography items, including photos and videos.

Police said the 44-year-old man was arrested at his apartment when the search warrant was served.

According to court paperwork, investigators discovered hundreds of "still images and video depicting the sexual exploitation of minors" on an external hard drive.

"The images captured minors in sexual positions or sexual acts," read the probable cause statement. "The videos and the images depict children 1-12 years old."

McClellan, who works at Mohave Middle School, was booked into Maricopa County Jail on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a class two felony and dangerous crime against children. A judge set his bond at $100,000.

In addition to the photos and videos, police say their found a letter "believed to be authored by a child known to ... McClellan disclosing sexual abuse they endured...."

Neighbor Chris Bergmaler said he awoke Wednesday morning to law enforcement personnel banging on McClellan's door, ordering the man to come out.

"It was just kind of chaotic, especially at 7 in the morning; you're not expecting to hear that," Bergmaler said.

Police have not said whether they believe McClellan played a role in producing the child pornography or if any of his students are victims.

The Scottsdale Unified School District said it performed an automated phone call to alert parents about the situation. Some parents, however, said they never received that call. Others said the message was vague.

According to one mother, McClellan works with special-education students and subs for a P.E. teacher, which means he has access to the locker rooms.

"He was in there while the kids were undressing," Jennifer Babcock said. "I'm terrified. I want to know what's going on with that. Did he take pictures of kids in there?"

An Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson confirmed Thursday that the school district never requested a background check for McClellan. It is unknown whether a background check would have shown anything of concern.

The school district said in a statement that it will not comment on current or former employees.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Internet Crimes Against Children Detail at 623-446-1828 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.

If McClellan posts bond, he cannot have any contact with minors nor can he have access to the Internet. He also will be under house arrest and required to submit to electronic monitoring.

A status conference will take place on March 12, followed by a preliminary hearing on March 14.

If convicted, McClellan could face more than 10 years in prison.

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