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Educator Charged With Having Child Porn

An elementary educator who taught classes until last year was charged with having images of nude youths and using his computer to solicit children.

It was not clear if any alleged victims had been students of Kelly Karl Bowen (search), 30.

"We can't even tell you how many victims there are yet," Assistant Attorney General Russell E. McGuire said at a bond hearing Thursday. "These kids, we need to find out who they are. We need to get them into counseling."

The investigation began June 17 when an undercover officer had an Internet chat with someone posing as a woman who "liked to have sex with young boys," according to court records.

The person also claimed to have pornographic pictures and videos of children, the records said.

Investigators linked the screen name to Bowen, and his home was then searched, uncovering images of nude children and at least one image depicting Bowen performing a sex act on a child, prosecutors said.

Bowen spent five years as a teacher in Portsmouth Public Schools (search) before being promoted to social studies specialist, schools spokeswoman Virginia Derr said.

For the past school year, he had an office at an elementary school and worked with teachers. He was placed on leave Thursday.

Defense attorney Robert L. Samuel Jr. said Bowen is married and has no criminal record. Bowen was also an assistant youth minister at a Methodist church in Suffolk.

Bowen was charged with nine counts of possessing child pornography and one count of using a computer to solicit sex with a child, all felonies. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 50 years in prison.

He was ordered held without bond.