A Broad Ripple High School math teacher was arrested at the school May 24 by members of the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes several police agencies, for allegedly possessing child pornography.
Robert Fowler, 43, of Noblesville was preliminarily charged with nine counts of child exploitation, all Class D felonies.
“The investigation on Fowler began with information received from the Lafayette Police Department who became aware of Fowler though a local investigation in Lafayette,” according to a news release from the task force.
A detective with the Noblesville Police Department was assigned to investigate the alleged crimes in April after the Lafayette Police Department obtained e-mails containing several images of child pornography.
Police discovered the images were sent to email@example.com between Sept. 1 and 20, 2010. In August 2011, the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office served a search warrant on Yahoo in order to obtain e-mails sent to that address. During the examination of the e-mails, police discovered several child pornography images, according to the probable cause affidavit.
On May 15, the detective and officers from the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force went to Fowler’s Noblesville home. According to court documents, Fowler admitted to using, owning and creating the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, Fowler reportedly admitted he knew some of the e-mails contained child pornography images and told authorities he saved them. After giving his consent, authorities searched Fowler’s computer and allegedly located the e-mails in a folder titled “pics.”
“Investigators conducted an additional search of a computer Fowler had access to at Broad Ripple High School which revealed no additional evidence,” the news release said.
Fowler is being held in the Hamilton County Jail on $5,000 bond.
Indianapolis Public Schools said Fowler has been suspended with pay pending the investigation and added it was fully coopering with authorities.