Thomas Warner, a former fourth-grade teacher in the Paradise Valley Unified School District and avid child-porn collector, pleaded guilty to a few charges today related to that child-porn stash.
Warner, 55, told police that he "use[d] his position as a teacher to compensate for the guilt he feels about viewing the images," according to court documents previously obtained by New Times.
Warner was a teacher at North Ranch Elementary, which has a Scottsdale address, and was arrested in February 2012.
Warner was done in by the computer repairman, who alerted the cops after finding a "hidden" folder containing images of boys between 8 and 12 years old engaging in a variety of sex acts, the documents state.
After serving a search warrant on Warner's house, cops said they found USB thumb drives with "hundreds" more images of young boys.
Warner told the cops he's been downloading the pictures off the Internet for the last decade -- about as long as he'd been with the Paradise Valley School District -- and explained how he hid his stash from his wife.
He then dropped the not-so-comforting statement about teaching young children to "compensate for the guilt he feels about viewing the images."
"Sometimes I know the children are hurting and other times it looks like they have no guilt about what they are doing," Warner told police, according to a probable-cause statement.
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Warner previously was a fifth-grade teacher, and also tutored children between the ages of 8 and 12 after school.
In another not-so-comforting statement we found on his website, it said, "His goal is to provide a positive and safe environment in the classroom for all."
Warner pleaded guilty today to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. His sentencing is set for July 9.