Beaufort Co. teacher fired, charged with possession of child pornography

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 9:19 AM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:18 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - A teacher in Beaufort County has been charged with possession of child pornography.

It was a tip from a resident living in the area that led the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office to serve a search warrant on 34-year-old Jared Smith’s home on Tuesday, where they found concerning media on his phone.

“We found media that was consistent with what was reported to us. It’s in violation of South Carolina code for sexual exploitation of a minor in the third degree, which basically meant that he was in possession of child pornography,” Maj. Angela Viens, with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, said.

The Beaufort County School District sent a message to parents saying they are aware of, “criminal charges involving HHI Middle and High School music teacher, Jared Michael Smith, who also had music lessons for HHI Elementary School and HHI School for the Creative Arts students twice weekly before school.”

The message also said Smith is no longer employed by the school district.

Maj. Veins said their forensics department has several more devices to go through belonging to Smith, his school tablet being one.

“Parents have been questioning, ‘Is this something that was happening at school?’ At this point, again in furtherance of the investigation we’ll look into that, but right now it appears that the image that we do have was produced outside of Beaufort County,” Maj. Viens said.

Maj. Viens said because they have more devices to go through, Smith could face more charges.

Records show Smith has no prior criminal history in Beaufort County.

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