Teacher at John Harris High School faces child pornography charges

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- A teacher at John Harris High School who turned over his iPhone to authorities after he reported that he was airdropped photos of what appeared to be a naked girl now faces child pornography charges following a search of the device.

Victor Ordonez, a 9th grade U.S. history teacher, told police on September 12 that he was in the classroom earlier that day when he turned on his iPhone Wifi and was then airdropped several photos of depicted child pornography, charging documents say. He claimed that the photos were also airdropped to other faculty members and students.

"I was very shocked I was like what’s going on," said Herood Mondesir, student. “I received the airdrop, the kids the nudes and everything," he added.

Harrisburg School District wrote in a news release Thursday that it recently received reports from students of pornographic photos being airdropped to their phones.

Police say Ordonez, 42, alerted the school administration and later provided a written consent form to police to seize his iPhone to extract possible evidence from where the photos originated from, according to charging documents.

An agent from the Attorney General's Office observed the photos on September 13 and while doing so, he saw numerous folders in Ordonez's filing system labeled as "young naked pics" and "jail bait forums," charging documents allege.

As a result, authorities obtained a search warrant to analyze the remainder of Ordonez's iPhone for additional pictures.

A search of Ordonez's device was completed on September 17, where authorities allegedly found over 300 photos of children engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the stimulation of such act. Four images were also allegedly located of children having indecent contact with adults that depicted child pornography.

Ordonez has been charged with eight counts of child pornography and a single count of criminal use of a communication facility, court documents show.

The school district said Ordonez has been placed on administrative leave and is not permitted on district grounds or near any students.

According to the school district, police don't believe the pornography allegedly found in Ordonez's possession included photos or videos of any of his students.

You can read the full school district news release below:

Today, the Harrisburg School District was notified of the arrest of Mr. Victor Ordonez, a teacher at Harrisburg High School, John Harris Campus. Mr. Ordonez has been charged with the possession of child pornography, among other charges. The District is fully cooperating with authorities; Mr. Ordonez has been placed on administrative leave and is not permitted on district grounds or near any of our students. We continue to follow all due process requirements in assessing his continued employment status with the Harrisburg School District.

Mr. Ordonez was hired by the school district in August 2017. He had completed all state and federal background checks and these were verified as recently as this summer 2019. Police do not believe the pornography found in his possession included photos or videos of any of his students.

Our school district places student safety and welfare as our top priority. We are working diligently to ensure our school environment is welcoming and supports student learning. As part of a renewed emphasis on teaching and learning, we are asking students to limit their use of phones and/or ear buds throughout the school day. Recently, several students reported that a pornographic photo was air-dropped to their phones. The source of this material is being investigated. This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated and is a violation of law and district policy. We will continue to communicate with parents and guardians in the coming days regarding these matters.

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