Teacher in child porn case out on bail

Staff WriterApril 12, 2008 

A former social studies teacher charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of minors was released from jail Thursday night and ordered to stay away from children under 18, court records show.

Jason Garant Perkins, 38, of 540 Sutter Gate Lane in Morrisville was arrested Thursday, and his bail was set at $250,000. He later posted bail, said his attorney, Patrick Roberts.

Perkins, who taught at Woods Charter School in Chapel Hill, was scheduled to appear in Wake County District Court on Friday to review the charges against him. But he waived his first court appearance, allowing Roberts to appear on his behalf. Roberts would not comment on the case.

A letter written on notebook paper in Perkins' court file authorized Roberts' appearance. "I understand the nature of the charges against me," Perkins said in the letter to a District Court judge.

Perkins taught middle school students before he abruptly resigned Wednesday -- a day before the charges were filed. Middle school at Woods includes fifth through eighth grades.

Court files show that Perkins received digital images of underage girls last year while he was employed at Woods. The files contain various descriptions of the girls in the images, which were all sexual in nature. The girls are described as adolescent females, a prepubescent female and a female under 16, court records show.

The State Bureau of Investigation charged Perkins after finding images of the girls on his computer hard drive. They were in labeled folders, including one labeled with Perkins' name and others with girls' names and sexually explicit language.

SBI agents arrested Perkins after an undercover operation by the bureau's computer crime investigators, said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the SBI. During the investigation, Talley said, Perkins allowed the SBI to examine his laptop computer. Agents found the images, which they described as child pornography.

Perkins is scheduled to appear in court May 1.

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