Franklin High teacher arrested on multiple child pornography charges


COURTLAND, Va. (WAVY) — A Franklin High School teacher was arrested on Tuesday and charged with 23 counts related to the possession and distribution of child pornography.

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office say, Shawn Denne, a health and P.E. teacher at Franklin High, was arrested at his Courtland home in the 27000 block of Flaggy Run Road. He’s worked with Franklin City Public Schools since 2009, the district’s website shows.

Southampton detectives had been investigating Denne since receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Child back on May 13, and said they had enough evidence for a search warrant to be conducted.

The sheriff’s office says additional electronic evidence was collected from the home during the search, which led to Denne’s arrest.

He has been charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography and 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

In response to the charges, Franklin City Public Schools released the following statement on June 3.

“Franklin City Public Schools (FCPS) learned today that a teacher employed by FCPS has been charged with multiple counts of possession and distribution of child pornography. Upon learning of these charges, FCPS immediately suspended the teacher. FCPS will cooperate fully with law enforcement in the investigation of this matter.”

“We do not currently have any information to indicate that any FCPS students were involved in this individual’s alleged illegal activities. The safety and wellbeing of our students and our community are our top priority. Any persons with information about these activities or concerns about their child are encouraged to contact Det. Lt. White at (757) 653-2100.”

The sheriff’s office didn’t have additional details in a press release Wednesday but said the case remains under investigation and additional charges may be coming. Denne’s being held in the Southampton County Jail without bond.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Det. Lt. White at 757-653-2100.

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