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Police credit girl's courage in arrest of music teacher - abc27 WHTM

Police credit girl's courage in arrest of music teacher

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

Police are crediting the courage of a 12-year-old student and the quick actions of school officials in the arrest of a Dover Intermediate music teacher who's facing more than 600 counts of possessing child pornography.

Matthew B. Puterbaugh, 46, was suspended immediately by the district Feb. 20 when the girl told school officials he inappropriately touched her during a music class the previous day.

She reported that when Puterbaugh leaned over her to explain something, his hand caressed and squeezed her thigh, according to Northern York County Regional police.

"What could have potentially been brushed off as 'maybe it wasn't what I thought it was' - this girl felt uncomfortable enough to report it and everyone took it seriously," Police Lt. David Lash said. "It was exactly what she thought it was."

The complaint also sparked a joint investigation by school officials and police, who seized Puterbaugh's cell phone and home computer.

The computer was found to have 661 images of child pornography, consistent with pornography that is downloaded from the Internet, according to police, who said none of the images were of current or former students.

Puterbaugh's phone and computer, however, had numerous inappropriate videos of current or former Dover students; some focused up their skirts, others on their clothed breasts, and all apparently made without the students' knowledge, police said.

Investigators said 15 students have been identified in the videos and their parents have been notified. They they still trying to identify at least a dozen other girls who were videotaped.

Authorities are also looking into how the videos were made. They said they will file additional charges against Puterbaugh once that investigation is complete.

Puterbaugh was charged Thursday with 661 counts of possessing child pornography and one count of possessing an instrument of crime.

He is in the York County Prison on $250,000 cash bail pending a preliminary hearing set for March 7.

 

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