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Feds: Substitute teacher shared child sex abuse pictures

Feds: Substitute teacher shared child sex abuse pictures

Agent says man's resume claims he worked in-home with disabled children

HAMMOND | A man charged with distributing images of the sexual torture of children as young as 4 months worked as a substitute teacher in at least three Northwest Indiana school districts, an FBI report said.

Michael T. Wilson, 25, who until Tuesday was a student and graduate research assistant in the psychology department at Valparaiso University, substituted in the Lake Central, Portage Township and Duneland school systems, said the report attached to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Hammond federal court.

Wilson also listed on his resume giving in-home care to developmentally disabled children as young as 6 years through AccessAbilities Inc. of Merrillville, the report said.

Valparaiso University severed ties with Wilson as of Tuesday, university spokesman Todd Fleischhauer said.

"Michael Wilson is no longer a student at the university and is no longer a graduate research assistant at the university," Fleischhauer said.

Wilson was arrested Monday and is being held at the Porter County Jail. A federally funded lawyer has been appointed to represent him, and Wilson is scheduled to return to federal court Thursday for a hearing to determine whether the charge is supported by probable cause and whether he could be released on bond.

Officials from the Duneland district, based in Chesteron, and the Portage Township district confirmed Wilson substituted for their school systems.

Wilson was stricken from the Portage district's substitute list Tuesday morning after news of the charges, Assistant Superintendent Tom Taylor said.

"He had been substituting at all levels for us -- elementary, middle and high school. His first assignment was in October. He most recently subbed last week," Wilson said. "In Porter County, we share our substitute pool with the other local school districts. That means that if someone requests to be in a school system in Porter County, they can sign up to substitute teach in any of the Porter County schools through one site."

Duneland Assistant Superintendent Monte Moffett said Wilson was a middle school substitute teacher for the Duneland schools until weeks ago. He last substituted in the Duneland district Feb. 4, Moffett said, adding Wilson was cut from the substitute list before his arrest.

Moffett declined to say why Wilson was dropped from the list before his arrest.

Larry Veracco, assistant superintendent of the St. John-based Lake Central school system, said Wilson signed up to substitute in September and he subbed for the district two days that month. Wilson has not been back since, Veracco said.

The FBI agent's report claims Wilson used "peer-to-peer" online file-sharing programs - software that allowed the explosion of music-sharing programs such as Napster - to trade graphic pictures of prepubescent children, including babies, being sexually victimized by adults.

FBI agents first encountered Wilson when an agent using a child porn convict's file-sharing account found Wilson on a file-sharing site in October 2007, according to the agent's report. In 2009, three agents attached to various child pornography investigative units downloaded files from a file-sharing account traced back to Wilson, the agent wrote.

Several of the photos show adults having sex with prepubescent children, the agent wrote. Some images show boys and girls, including toddlers and babies, being tied up and sexually abused, according to the agent's report.

Federal authorities claim Wilson possessed more than 90,000 images of child porn.

Agents found Wilson has had billing addresses in North Carolina, Kentucky and Colorado. In an online resume, Wilson gave an address in the Hills of Aberdeen apartment complex on Marcliffe Drive, the agent wrote.

The apartment complex is located in Valparaiso.

Wilson's online social networking profile and resume say he is a research assistant at Valparaiso University, where his duties include interviewing students and "administering interventions," according to the report. Wilson's resume also says he works for AccessAbilities Inc., a Merrillville company that provides services for the developmentally disabled, according to the report. Wilson's resume says he gives "in home habilitation services in absence" of parents or guardians, the agent wrote.

A manager at AccessAbilities could not be reached Tuesday for comment. Wilson's lawyer also could not be reached for comment.


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