South Carolina Teacher Allegedly Traded Student Photos for Child Pornography

On Friday, May 27, the Greenville County School District had the unpleasant task of sending a letter to the parents of 149 students at Mauldin High School and Mauldin Middle School to inform them that a district teacher had traded photographs of their children for child pornography. Meetings were scheduled at Mauldin High School so that notified parents and children could ask questions of school and law enforcement officials.

The case arose in December 2014 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified the Greenville Sheriff’s Office that it had received tips regarding the presence of child pornography on computers in the Greenville County area.

Several area law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Mauldin Police Department, and the area Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, joined forces to track down the computers in question. They ultimately identified two Greenville County School District employees, Mauldin Middle School physical education teacher Daniel Ray Archer (55) and former Ralph Chandler Middle School teacher Christopher Smith (28). The two cases are apparently not connected.

Following the identification of Archer, law enforcement officials obtained a search warrant and seized numerous electronic devices from his home, including computers issued to him by the school district. During their review of the devices, forensics examiners discovered numerous photos and videos of students taken during school activities, including gym classes, field trips, and cheerleading events. All of the students were fully clothed in the recovered photos. The photos were reportedly taken over an 8-year period, from 2007 to 2014.

Oby Lyles, the director of communications for the school district, told the local Fox affiliate WHNS that there were clear indications that Archer had traded some or all of those images for child pornography. Forensics examiners reported finding an extensive amount of pornography on Archer’s devices, including images of child pornography depicting children as young as 7.

Archer, who has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the prosecution against him, is facing four counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

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