A Perris middle school teacher suspected of taking inappropriate photographs of his female students and downloading child pornography onto his home computer was behind bars Wednesday.
Eric Michael Samuel, 37, was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of annoying a minor, a misdemeanor, and possession of child porn, a felony, following an investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Samuel is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and is due in court in Riverside on Thursday, according to sheriff's online booking records.
According to sheriff's Sgt. Glenn Williams, the Lakeside Middle School science teacher became the focus of an investigation at the end of May, when school administrators learned of incidents in which Samuel allegedly had snapped digital photos of girls' chests and buttocks in his classroom.
Detectives served search warrants at the suspect's two-story house at 17214 Andalusian Court in Moreno Valley, where they seized ``computers, weapons and cellphones,'' Williams said.
``Computer analysis of the teacher's computers revealed several videos and pictures containing child pornography,'' Williams said.
Samuel was arrested without incident at the residence. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case, according to Val Verde Unified School District officials.