WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, May 2, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A middle school teacher at American Preparatory Academy in West Valley City was arrested after school administrators discovered child pornography in his classroom.
Michael Scott Hatfield, 53, was taken into custody Thursday by the West Valley Police Department on seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of possession of pornography.
School administrators say they became aware of a problem when an employee noticed Hatfield had retrieved a black bag from his desk, then covered his classroom security camera, hiding the administration’s view of himself and the classroom.
A microphone captured audio that suggested Hatfield was sexually gratifying himself.
Officers obtained a search warrant and found two handmade albums of pornography, a commercial DVD of pornography, and hand lotion.
Police say the albums featured images of naked pre-pubescent females.
Captions added included “pretty as a princess” and “show and tell.”
The albums were crafted with “meticulous” detail, the investigating officer said, and the photos were accompanied by stickers listing a name and age for each girl.
The arresting officer went to Hatfield’s home, the probable cause statement said. Scrapbooking supplies were taken into evidence.
Hatfield was booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail, and his bail was set for $100,000, according to the probable cause statement.
Carolyn Sharette, executive director of American Preparatory Academy, released the following statement:
American Preparatory Academy is deeply concerned should any employee have inappropriate materials in possession on school grounds. We are grateful we have cameras in classrooms and astute staff members who monitor continually for our students’ safety. We are cooperating fully with the West Valley City Police Department in their investigation.
As with all faculty and staff, the employee in question underwent and passed a Utah State Board of Education background check, including a Livescan fingerprinting and a Bureau of Criminal Identification report.
He was subject of another background check January 24, 2016, which resulted in a satisfactory report on March 22, 2016 and a reissuance of his license by the USBE. There were no prior questionable incidents during his employment at the school.
To date APA has received no information or report of any student involvement in this case.