A Midland City man is in Dale County Jail after his arrest Monday, Sept. 14, on two charges of possession of child pornography.
Darius Salter’s arrest stems from investigation into a report earlier Sept. 14 from officials with the Dale County Board of Education.
Dale County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mason Bynum said that the DCBOE reported “information of a potential inappropriate relationship” between a student and a substitute teacher who worked at South Dale Middle School in Pinckard and Dale County High School in Midland City.
“DCBOE administrators promptly followed protocols and removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and notified the sheriff’s office,” Bynum said, adding that based on preliminary investigation
Salter, 21, has been charged with two counts of “possession of obscene matter.”
The Dale County Jail Inmate Roster reports Salter’s charges as two charges of possession of child pornography.
“As the investigation developed we identified multiple potential victims,” Bynum said. “DCBOE and DCSO investigators worked jointly and have been in contact with the victims’ parents that we have been able to identify thus far.”
Bynum said the investigation is ongoing. “But based on our preliminary investigation, all communication between the suspect and victims was done electronically. We do not believe any sexual contact was made between the victims and the suspect,” he said. “As the investigation continues we anticipate additional charges to be filed.”
“The Dale County Board of Education’s first priority is, and will continue to be, the safety and well-being of our student population,” said Dale County Schools Superintendent Ben Baker in a post Sept. 14 on the DCBOE Facebook page. “This matter will continue to be investigated by the board and the board will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement.”
Baker said that he contacted the Dale County Sheriff’s Office immediately after receiving a complaint from a parent early Sept. 14 about electronic contact between a substitute teacher and their student.
“Based upon information received from the sheriff’s office, which we believe to be accurate, there has been inappropriate contact via electronic messages between the substitute teacher and multiple students enrolled in the Dale County School System,” Baker said. “The substitute teacher has been removed from campus and will have no further involvement with our school system.
“Each student alleged to be involved in this matter will be contacted through their parents/guardians and will be offered supportive measures to help ensure that each student is able to continue their studies during this potentially disruptive episode,” Baker said. “As this matter involves law enforcement, no further comment can be made at this time and any further inquiries should be directed to the Dale County Sheriff’s Office.”
Salter has been booked into the Dale County Jail pending his first appearance court appearance.