Teacher facing child porn charges released from jail, placed on leave

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A middle school music teacher facing child pornography charges for an alleged relationship with a girl has been released on electronic monitoring, and placed on administrative leave by a south suburban school district.

Walter Clay, 30, is charged with having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl, and attacking his wife when she discovered what was going on, according to Lansing police.

The Lansing resident faces two counts of possession of child pornography, and single counts of grooming, indecent solicitation of a child and domestic battery, according to Lansing police. He has been released on electronic monitoring, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.

In a letter to parents, South Holland School District 151 Supt. Teresa Hill said, “Upon notification of the arrest, Mr. Clay was immediately placed on administrative leave pending further investigation by the district.”

Hill wrote, “The safety and welfare of children is our main priority. Inappropriate conduct which threatens the well-being of youth will not be tolerated.”

Police were alerted in July to possible criminal activity involving Clay, a music teacher at Coolidge Middle School in south suburban Phoenix, and a minor.

A search warrant was executed on his social media accounts, which revealed evidence of child pornography, police said.

When Clay’s wife discovered evidence of his relationship with the girl, he attacked and tried to choke her, leading to the domestic battery charge, police said.

Clay was arrested at his home Friday, police said.

He was ordered held in the Cook County Jail on $200,000 bond, but released on electronic monitoring in lieu of bail, according to the sheriff’s office. Should he pay $20,000 bail, the monitor will be removed.

He is next scheduled to appear in court Aug. 14 in Markham.

Calling the arrest a “personnel matter,” Hill said the school district would have no further comment, but added: “School District 151 can state that it conducts background screening, including contacting professional references and obtaining a criminal history, before any applicant is approved for employment.”

She said the district is cooperating fully with authorities. “Inappropriate conduct which threatens the well-being of youth will not be tolerated,” she wrote.

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