High School Physics Teacher Arrested On Child Porn Charges
On Tuesday, a teacher at a San Pedro Catholic high school was arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography.According to an LAPD press release, Daniel O'Connell, 32, is employed as a physics teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro. O'Connell was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes at around 8 a.m. by detectives from the LAPD's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. The investigation into O'Connell was initiated as a result of information received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that O’Connell was having inappropriate contact with minors that he met on a mathematics tutoring website, according to authorities.
O'Connell taught physics and AP physics at Mary Star of the Sea and also listed himself as available for after school tutoring three days a week, according to the school's website. A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told The Daily Breeze that O’Connell was a long-term substitute teacher at the school.
The Daily Breeze reports that school principal Rita Dever sent a letter to parents announcing the arrest on Tuesday night. Dever said that the Archdiocese had been made aware of the investigation, and that they had been "cooperating fully with the police since that time."
Dever also said that, as of now, "the police have indicated that Mr. O’Connell’s alleged activities do not involve any students at Mary Star of the Sea High School nor did they take place on the Mary Star campus.”
KTLA reports that O'Connell had been in full compliance with the Archdiocese's requirements for teachers, including having been fingerprinted and having passed a background check.