MORENO VALLEY, Calif. -

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.