Federal Judge Theresa Buchanan called Justin Coleman absolutely a danger to the community as she ordered the Alexandria teacher accused of downloading and keeping child pornography to jail Friday.
Coleman, 35, a fourth grade dual la
nguage teacher at John Adams Elementary School, was arrested Wednesday after federal and local authorities raided his Falls Church home about 5:45 a.m. Officers found girls underpants and an external hard drive loaded with pornographic images and videos of children during the search, according to court documents.
During an interview with authorities Coleman allegedly admitted downloading and watching child pornography for a long time, court documents say.
Among other admissions, Coleman said he had spied on a young girl, now 9, changing her clothes. There was a Justin at home and a Justin at work, the documents quoted him as saying. He feared they would mesh together.
Coleman appeared back in court Friday morning wearing street clothes and listened as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Kim Kroemeke recounted the early morning raid.
After he left for work, authorities continued the search, she said. They later arrested Coleman on a receiving child pornography charge as he was driving from his parents house that evening. He had a pair of girls underwear in his pockets, authorities said.
During a second interview with Coleman at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center, he allegedly admitted inappropriately filming a three-year-old boy touching himself.
The girls underwear found behind his bed came from a backpack Coleman told authorities he had stolen at school, according to the affidavit. The panties in his pocket came from an 11-year-old Russian girl he met through an international program, the affidavit said. He used them for self-pleasure, according to the documents.
Though attorney Peter Greenspan argued Coleman posed no flight risk, having been born and raised in Northern Virginia, Buchanan rejected any notion of letting the teacher back into the community even with a GPS device.
He has already crossed the line and is duplicitous in that he put himself in employment around young girls, she said. Hes already acted on these thoughts with his own nieces.
Coleman has been an Alexandria City Public Schools teacher since 2005. Hes since been placed on paid administrative leave pending the final outcome, said Kelly Alexander, spokeswoman.
Superintendent Morton Sherman said officials learned of the investigation Wednesday morning. Though Coleman had been advised by authorities to call in sick, he arrived at work, Sherman said. They removed him from the school after local detectives contacted ACPS administrators.
Im appalled that an employee or any adult would place our children in harms way and I know the teacher and I am a little taken aback by the reality of what he did, Sherman said.
All ACPS employees go through a rigorous background checks and references are always checked, whether its a first-year teacher straight from college or a veteran of the classroom, Sherman said, and Coleman was clean.
Theres nothing more officials could have done to learn of his alleged interest in child pornography, Sherman said.
He had a very clean background, that was all pristine, he said. Were talking about a very sick individual who hid from his closest friends the reality of his life.
School officials notified parents via phone calls and emails once they learned of the allegations against Coleman, according to Alexander. They are not aware of any previous incidents involving Coleman, though parents have been provided with contact information for authorities, officials said.
Counselors and psychologists will be on hand for children and parents for the next week, Alexander said.
Coleman will reside at Alexandria Detention Center until his next court date.