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MCPS elementary school lunch aide arrested for child porn

Sean R. Kelley 1Maryland State Police arrested MCPS elementary school aide Sean Kelley Friday on 10 counts of child pornography-related charges. COURTESY PHOTO  State police on Friday, Jan. 5 arrested a Silver Spring public elementary school cafeteria worker on 10 counts of child pornography-related charges. The school's principal sent a letter to parents and guardians of children who attend the school informing them of the arrest that same day.

Officers of the Maryland State Police charged Cloverly Elementary School employee Sean Kelley with seven counts of possession of imagery of an individual under the age of 16 engaged in sexual conduct and three counts of distribution of imagery of a minor engaged in sexual conduct.

According to a Jan. 5 letter sent by Cloverly Elementary School Principal Melissa Brunson, authorities believe the images associated with the charges were downloaded from the internet and are not of Montgomery County Public School students.

MCPS Spokesman Derek Turner said Kelley was placed on administrative leave Sept. 12.  

A press release issued by the state police on Jan. 6 stated that the investigation began last July after their computer crimes unit received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Kelley, who has been employed at Cloverly Elementary School since October 2016, was also an employee of Kids After Hours, a childcare company contracted by the County to provide before and after care services in 20 MCPS elementary schools.

Kids After Hours owner Bob Sickels said Kelley was terminated on the day school officials informed him of the investigation. Sickels said he believes that day was Friday, Sept. 8, four days after the new school year started.

"As soon as we learned there was an investigation, we let him go," Sickels said.

Sickels said Kelley passed a criminal background check before he started working at Kids After Hours in late July/early August, but he wasn't sure if a job reference had been provided by Cloverly Elementary.

"Don't know that we got a hold of the principal," Sickels said. "It can be tough getting hold of a principal during summer hours."

Sickels said his staff did obtain a job reference from Liberty Grove Methodist Church in Burtonsville, where Kelley also had worked as a part-time junior church coordinator since 2006.

"Everything checked out well," Sickels said.

In her letter, Brunon stated: "This type of behavior does not reflect the principles of MCPS or our community, and it will not be tolerated." 

Cloverly Elementary is the same school where convicted sex offender John Vigna taught. Montgomery County Police charged Vigna with four counts of sexual assault of a minor and five counts of third degree sex offense in 2017, according to a June 12, 2017 Sentinel article. Complaints of Vigna's inappropriate interactions with students dated back at least to 2009.

Kelley is currently being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center awaiting a bond review hearing.

@glyniskazanjian

 

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