Published May 12. 2014 6:40PM Updated May 13. 2014 12:25AM
New London — A former technology paraprofessional at the Ledyard Center School charged with storing hundreds of child pornographic images on a school computer apparently tried to erase files from his computer following his firing for “inappropriate behavior,” newly released court records reveal.
Webster H. Holland, 53, was charged Friday with possession of child pornography and arraigned Monday in New London Superior Court where he was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bond.
In an interview with police in December, Holland admitted he had transferred files to his school computer from a thumb drive he brought from home, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
“Some of the photos on the hard drive were of naked children. I found these images to be interesting rather than arousing,” Holland said, according to the affidavit.
Holland said he had moved the images from his home computer to the thumb drive after his wife discovered some of the pornography at home and threatened to leave him, according to the affidavit.
The couple were going through marital problems, he told police, and “I resorted to viewing pornography as a withdrawal tool.”
Holland was fired from his position at the Ledyard School on Dec. 6, according to the affidavit. The reason for his firing was unclear though school administration cited inappropriate behavior “not of a sexual nature,” court records show. Superintendent Cathy Patterson was not immediately available for comment.
School staff changed computer passwords on Holland’s computer and on Dec. 10 noticed several items missing from Holland’s work area that had disappeared over the weekend “after (Holland) was told not to enter the school without an escort,” according to the affidavit.
Staff also discovered the hard drive was erased. When the missing data was recovered, staff found 56 gigs of deleted information, police said. Among the deleted files was “nude pictures of very young children.” Police were immediately called.
Ledyard police called Holland in for an interview while the computer was sent to the state forensic laboratory for analysis.
The forensic investigation revealed 329 images of suspected child porn showing prepubescent females in various sexually explicit positions. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said 215 of the photos are verified as child pornography.
After his arraignment Monday, Holland’s case was transferred to New London’s Part A court for serious felonies where Holland is due to appear on May 28. Holland, with a last known address in Danbury, does not yet have a lawyer.
Under the physical disabilities category of his court paperwork, Holland lists post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.