A middle school teacher made his first court appearance today after being arrested for possessing child pornography.
Timothy Hensley is accused of possessing child pornography while working as a teacher at Bell Middle School. He was appointed an attorney by a federal judge this afternoon. He was not handcuffed and no supporters were present in the courtroom.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed in court that they started their investigation on Timothy Hensley with an internet tip.
Federal Court has also confirmed that Hensley has been put on paid administrative leave and will continue to receive his salary of $4,500 dollars a month.
Hensley has been working as an 8th grade science teacher and was named the 2009-2010 "Teacher of the Year."
Hensley was a substitute from 2003-2004 before he became a teacher at Wilson Middle School for a year. He has been at Bell Middle School since August 2005.
San Diego Unified School District officials said Hensley has not been at school this week.
ICE agents executed a search warrant on Hensley's North Park apartment yesterday morning after they found pornographic images of children on computer discs in his home.
The federal complaint against Hensley says the discs had images and videos of minors as young as 5-years-old in sexually explicit conduct. ICE agents said they contacted Bell Middle School today with the federal complaint against Hensley.
Parents say they are shocked by the news.
“I will be doing some homework and if I need to move my daughter, I will,” said parent Jenna Robinson.
The school district says student's safety is their number one concern.
Neither the school district nor ICE would release information on whether any of Hensley's students were involved in the pornographic images.