Cheatham schools psychologist faces child porn charges

A Cheatham County School District child psychologist was arrested Tuesday night at a Florida hotel after authorities say they found more than two dozen images of child pornography on his computer.

Robert Pitcock, a 51-year-old licensed psychologist who works with the district’s special education department, was charged with 25 counts of possession of child porn and one count of using a computer to compile child pornography, said Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman with the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Task Force arrested Pitcock at about 9:40 p.m. after they served a search warrant at the St. Maurice Inn on Michigan Street in Hollywood, Fla., after he returned to his room.

Authorities said Pitcock was in town visiting from Ashland City.

During their investigation, which began last month, detectives discovered 25 images of minor children engaged in sexually explicit poses and sexual activity on two computers, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional storage devices were also seized during the investigation and will be analyzed.

Cheatham County School District spokesman Jeff Bennett said Pitcock was hired by the district in 1998.

Bennett said Pitcock was immediately suspended without pay pending the result of an investigation.

Pitcock remained jailed in Florida Wednesday on $130,000 bond, Moschella said.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Cheatham County director of schools Stan Curtis said the district was contacted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day.

In his role as a school psychologist, Pitcock mainly conducted evaluations for special-needs students in grades K-12.

Curtis said authorities in Florida seized two district computers during the investigation.

The director said the district is working with Broward County authorities, and there is no way to know at this point if any of the materials involved Cheatham County students.

Curtis said if parents have concerns about any inappropriate activity and behavior involving Pitcock, they should contact the school district or the child’s individual school.

“We want to assure parents that the safety of their children is paramount for us,” he said.

Curtis added the district will be cooperating with law enforcement throughout the investigation.

Curtis said he always considered Pitcock a model employee.

“He did what we asked of him, and he did it diligently,” he said.

Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said his office is also working with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and will be searching Pitcock’s Ashland City home as part of the investigation.

“It is early in the investigation, and we have a lot of work ahead us,” Breedlove said. “We will be thorough in our investigation and we will see if we have any victims … we hope our county is not affected.”

Breedlove said Pitcock had actually worked with law enforcement in his role as a school employee.

A copy of Pitcock’s personnel file was not immediately available.

Source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2015/08/05/tennessee-school-child-psychologist-arrested-child-porn-charges/31164103/