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Cambridge Teacher Charged With Child Porn Also Taught In Somerville

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SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Somerville officials are asking parents to step forward with information or concerns they may have had about a former teacher arrested on federal child pornography charges.

Josh Wairi, 27, of Somerville, was arrested at his home on Thursday after an extensive investigation.

Wairi was a fifth-grade teacher at the Graham and Parks School in Cambridge this school year but was student teacher at the John F. Kennedy School during the 2008-2009 school year and a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at the Arthur D. Healy school from 2009-2012.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, left, and School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi comment on the arrest of a former teacher on child pornography charges. (Photo by Karen Twomey/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, left, and School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi comment on the arrest of a former teacher on child pornography charges. (Photo by Karen Twomey/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Somerville School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi said Friday there were no indications that Wairi was a problem while teaching in Somerville.

“There was absolutely nothing, no reasons to indicate that there was a concern about the trust that we would be able to put in this individual,” he told reporters at a news conference.

“We all feel, justifiably and rightfully, angry, confused, dismayed, betrayed and shocked by this event.”

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said the community is furious and heartbroken.

“These sickening allegations are the most egregious betrayal of trust imaginable. That the exploitation of children involved an individual entrusted with our children make these allegations all the more disturbing,” Curtatone said.

Officials held a community forum for Somerville Public Schools parents and guardians Friday morning at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium to address their questions. The school department is making available counselors from the Riverside Trauma Center and the Somerville Trauma Response Network from noon to 8 p.m. Friday at the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria.

Police were able to identify Wairi by linking the email address to his computer I.P. address. Investigators say they found evidence during a search that Wairi had traded and received hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.

During an interview with authorities, they said, he admitted to downloading and trading videos and images of children being sexually exploited.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Somerville Officials Ask Parents To Voice Any Past Concerns About Teacher

hiri Cambridge Teacher Charged With Child Porn Also Taught In Somerville
WBZ NewsRadio 1030

Wairi also admitted to secretly videotaping children changing in and out of clothes on more than one occasion, and to setting up a hidden video camera in a locker room in order to videotape children changing, according to authorities.

It’s unclear where those alleged incidents took place.

Cambridge School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said the school system conducted background checks on Wairi as they do with all employees and there were no red flags.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey contributed to this report.

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