PERRIS (CBSLA.com) — A 37-year-old Perris middle school teacher has been accused of taking inappropriate pictures of female students, as well as possessing child pornography.
Eric Michael Samuel was arrested Tuesday for child annoying and possession of child pornography. His bail was set at $5,000.
On May 30, Lakeside Middle School administrators contacted authorities regarding a science teacher who had allegedly taken several lewd pictures of some girls.
An investigation revealed that Samuel had taken digital photos of his students without their knowledge, which focused on their chest and buttocks, police said.
A search warrant was later served at his Moreno Valley residence, where investigators reportedly recovered computers, weapons and cellphones.
An analysis of Samuel’s computers revealed several videos and pictures containing child pornography, according to authorities.
Kristen Waters, Samuel’s neighbor, said she’s alarmed and disturbed by the accusations.
“I have children from the age of 21 all the way down to 4. Yeah, that’s very scary,” she said. “If, in fact, he’s really hurting the children, he doesn’t deserve to be on the streets.”
Breanna Davis-Reid, a former student of Samuel’s, said the teacher’s behavior seemed unusual sometimes, but she’s still surprised by the arrest.
“It’s so nasty. At the same time, it’s just like, I feel bad because I wouldn’t want (anyone) to do that to me,” she said.
Anyone with information about the crime was encouraged to call John Wyatt of the Perris Police Department at (951) 210-1000.