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Ex-Teacher Faces Child Porn Charges

David P. Harper, a former Rio Rancho elementary school music teacher, will face trial again in New Mexico after a probation and parole officer found him with child pornography while on probation for an unrelated New Jersey child endangerment conviction.

Harper, 58, had been back in Rio Rancho about a month when state probation and parole officer Sarah Valdez visited him in mid-September.

Harper, a registered sex offender, was convicted in 2008 of endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey, a New Mexico Corrections Department news release states.

When Valdez went to Harper’s home on Sept. 15, she found evidence of child pornography, and he was arrested for violating his probation, according to a KOAT-TV report.

“I immediately saw his home computer and the screen saver was of child pornography,” Valdez told KOAT-TV.

Harper was served with an arrest warrant on Sept. 24, according to court records. A Sandoval County grand jury indicted him in early October in connection with the evidence found during the probation and parole officer’s visit.

Valdez could not be reached by the Journal for comment.

Harper was indicted on six counts of sexual exploitation of children for allegedly manufacturing child pornography and two counts of sexual exploitation of children for allegedly possessing child pornography, the Oct. 4 indictment states.

The indictment said the crimes occurred on May, June and September 2011.

In early 2009, Harper was indicted by a Sandoval County grand jury on similar child pornography charges, but the charges were dropped in September of that year by the prosecution, according to online court records.

A Journal report in August 2009 said evidence against Harper on child exploitation charges had to be suppressed because of a problem with the search warrant.

District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said prosecution of the latest case against Harper will be handled by the state Attorney General’s office.



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