BARRE — A teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy has been charged with five counts of possessing child pornography.
Jose Bruzual, a science teacher, pleaded not guilty to the felonies Thursday and is being held on $35,000 bail.
The attorney general’s office said Bruzual is accused of obtaining and distributing child pornography over the Internet using peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
Academy Headmaster Thomas Lovett said there was no indication that any current or former students were involved or at risk.
According to a letter Lovett sent to parents, Vermont State Police searched Bruzual’s apartment Thursday. He was arrested that day.
“In accordance with our school policy, as soon as we learned of the arrest, Mr. Bruzual was placed on administrative leave,” Lovett wrote. “He will remain on administrative leave pending an investigation of the charges. In addition, we issued him an ‘Order of No Trespass’ that will remain in place throughout the investigation. We will cooperate fully with authorities in this investigation.”
Lovett said students in contact with Bruzual had been told of the arrest.
“The students in Mr. Bruzual’s advisory and the students living in his dorm were recently informed as well, and we encouraged them to reach out to any faculty member, from advisor to dean to counselor, if they wanted support and guidance,” Lovett wrote.MORE IN Central Vermont
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