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Wise County Schools employee arrested on Kentucky child porn charges

Mike Still • Feb 13, 2020 at 5:35 PM

WHITESBURG, Ky. — A Wise County school system band director faces 21 child pornography charges after his arrest in Kentucky.

Dalton Matthew Bates, 23, Neon, Kentucky, was arrested Wednesday by Kentucky State Police investigators.

According to a police report filed in Letcher County District Court, Bates’ arrest followed an “undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation.”

Bates allegedly had been using social media sites to message people about sharing child sexual exploitation images, according to the arrest report. Investigators found “numerous” images and videos of minors in sexual performance, the report said, and Bates allegedly admitted to operating the account and messages.

Bates was charged with one felony count of first-offense distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and 20 felony counts of possessing or viewing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

According to the Letcher County Jail website, Bates was in custody there Thursday.

Wise County Schools Superintendent Greg Mullins confirmed Thursday that Bates is a system employee and band director at Central High School and L.F. Addington Middle School.

“We are aware of his arrest and are awaiting more information before proceeding according to division policies and procedures,” Mullins said.

According to Bates’ Facebook page, he started working for the school system in May 2019.