After-school care assistant arrested for child porn

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- An after-school care assistant was arrested Monday after deputies say several hundred images of child pornography were found on his home computer.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says Lawrence Amaral is facing 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Amaral worked as an after-school care assistant at St. Louis the King Catholic School.

The sheriff's office says it was an undercover investigation that eventually led to his arrest.

According to police paperwork, Amaral admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography for the last three years. The images depicted children ages 3 to 14.

For the last 5.5 years, he has worked at the church's after-school program where he had direct contact with children.

The Diocese released a statement saying in part that they have no knowledge of any physical or sexual abuse of any minor at the after-school program.

They also held meetings for parents so they could address the allegations and answer what questions they could about the situation.

A spokesperson for the Diocese told 3TV that they do perform background checks on their employees, including fingerprinting. Amaral cleared those checks.

Amaral told deputies he never committed any hands-on offense. He said he only looked at the images. He also told them he was sick and needed help.

A counselor was available for students on Tuesday.

Amaral was placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation. His wife, who also works at the school, resigned. It's not clear if she knew anything about the allegations leveled against her husband.