Authorities with the Blair County District Attorney’s office say a Claysburg man is behind bars following a “multi-department” child pornography investigation.
Investigators say 30-year-old Ethan Colpetzer, who was employed as a janitor at the Claysburg Elementary School, is accused of having dozens of photos, depicting child pornography, on his phone.
Police say authorities first began investigating Colpetzer after an 11-year-old student reported that a “secret admirer” had been leaving gifts, candy and notes at her desk.
Authorities say the student attempted to learn the name of her “secret admirer” by leaving a note at her desk.
Police say the teacher became concerned when the student revealed the “admirer’s” name as Ethan, which did not match any of the other students.
Investigators noted that Colpetzer had reportedly “singled out” the 11-year-old to other school employees, and had reportedly asked for her name.
Police say, upon further investigation, they learned of an incident in which a fellow employee “caught” Colpetzer taking photos of the students in the cafeteria.
Authorities say the school resource officer viewed the photos on Colpetzer’s phone, which included a “zoomed-in” photo of the 11-year-old student “bent over” at the lunch table.
Police say the officer also discovered another photo of an unidentified, nude child, prompting the school to notify authorities.
Investigators say a complete search of Colpetzer’s phone revealed 74 photos of young children performing sexual acts.
Police say Colpetzer reportedly admitted to saving the images from the internet.
Authorities say he also admitted to leaving the gifts and candy for the 11-year-old girl.
Claysburg-Kimmel officials said in a statement that Colpetzer has been placed on leave and he has not been at the school since the day of the alleged incident.
Officials say Colpetzer is charged with sexual abuse of children for possessing the images of child pornography.
“The safety of our community—especially our children—is one of the most important responsibilities we have as prosecutors. As such, the prosecution of those who possess child pornography will always be a priority for the Blair County District Attorney’s Office. Possessing such images is neither a minor offense nor a victimless crime. The District Attorney’s Office commends the Claysburg-Kimmel school staff whose vigilance and quick action allowed police to rapidly preserve and recover evidence,”
According to online court records, Colpetzer is being held at the Blair County Prison on $100,000 bail.