People

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Crime

Utah Teacher Allegedly Brought ‘Meticulous’ Child Porn Scrapbooks to His Middle School

Posted on

Michael Scott Hatfield
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

A 58-year-old middle school teacher is facing criminal charges in Utah where authorities allege he brought two homemade scrapbooks filled with child pornography to his classroom last week, PEOPLE learns.

In court records obtained by PEOPLE, detectives allege that Michael Scott Hatfield created both of the scrapbooks with “meticulous attention” to detail. He was arrested on Thursday — less than a week after police began investigating his alleged behavior.

Hatfield has since lost his teaching position at the American Preparatory Academy in West Valley City, Utah. The school said in a statement that it performed its most recent background check on Hatfield last year and found he had no record of arrests or past incidences.

West Valley police started looking into Hatfield’s alleged behaviors after a school employee, who is charged with overseeing the school’s security surveillance cameras, noticed he was obstructing “the camera inside his classroom,” according to a probable cause statement filed against him.

A review of the footage from Hatfield’s classroom showed he removed a black bag from his desk and then covered the camera, according to court documents. However, the surveillance system still captured audio “that suggests Hatfield was masturbating,” the probable cause filing states.

School administrators later seized his bag, finding two photo albums containing sexually explicit collages, according to the court documents. The pages were filled with pornographic imagery of grown men and young girls, the court records state.

One of the books had 26 pages and all but two featured pornography, according to the documents. The second book, also 26 pages, contained only one page free of child pornography.

Police allege Hatfield was also in possession of an X-rated DVD and a bottle of lotion.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

One of the albums contained stickers, captions and comments, including names and ages, authorities alleged in court documents. One page even featured the caption “Carnal Cravings of the Cute and Cuddly.”

Hatfield is facing seven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of access to pornographic material. His lawyer was unavailable for comment Tuesday. He has yet to enter pleas to his charges.

An email sent to parents and faculty says investigators found no evidence suggesting that any of Hatfield’s students were victims.

The school has issued a prepared statement on the allegations, noting that covering up cameras within the school “is unacceptable and resulted in further investigation. The teacher was immediately interviewed by school administration and placed on administrative leave within a few hours of the incident.”

The statement continued: “American Preparatory Academy is deeply concerned should any employee have inappropriate materials in possession on school grounds. We are grateful we have cameras in classrooms and astute staff members who monitor continually for our students’ safety.”