Polk County, Florida -- A Union Academy Magnet School research teacher was arrested Thursday after being caught with child porn.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, detectives launched an investigation on May 28 after a student used the teacher's classroom computer and saw a pop-up warning that read, "You have been viewing or distributing child pornography."
The student later reported the incident, and told investigators that the teacher, 59-year-old Lawrence Douglas Hughes, shut off the computer right away, and never discussed the message with him.
And investigators say the student had more to share than what happened in the classroom that day.
According to officials, the student also told them about a canoeing trip Mr. Hughes and two other male students took earlier that year- saying he turned down Mr. Hughes' invitation, but his 13 and 14-year-old peers chose to go.
The student reportedly later saw pictures from the trip of the boys in their bathing suits, and heard that while they were there, Mr. Hughes "wrestled" with one of them, and held their hands for "prayer."
With the student's information, deputies say they conducted a forensic investigation on two school board computers assigned to Hughes, and found child pornographic pictures on both.
Most of the pictures, according to detectives, were of boys between 12 and 16-years-old posing nude, but they say there were also pictures that depicted sexual acts between children and adults, and nude boys with each other, too.
Detectives confirmed at least 20 of the images were child pornography.
The investigation now turns from Hughes' school-issued computers, to his personal property. Detectives say they served a search warrant Thursday at his Lakeland home, and will search any computers and electronic devices for more child pornography.
In the meantime, they arrestedHughes and charged him with 20 counts of possession of child pornography.
As detectives continue to investigate, they askstudents or parents who may have more information on Hughes, and possible inappropriate contact he made with children, to reach out to the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 863-298-6200.