This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A former West Valley City charter school teacher has been charged for allegedly bringing homemade child pornography albums or scrapbooks to his classroom.
Michael Scott Hatfield, 58, who taught at American Preparatory Academy, at 3636 W. 3100 South, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with seven counts of second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, as well as three class A misdemeanor counts of accessing pornographic or indecent material on school property.
Hatfield was booked into the Salt Lake County jail last Friday. Police said they requested a bail of $100,000 due to Hatfield's position of trust as a middle school teacher and the risk posed to children.
No court dates were immediately set.
Charging documents state that last month, a school employee responsible for in-classroom cameras observed Hatfield cover the camera in his classroom, which school officials noted is unacceptable and resulted in further investigation.
Upon reviewing additional camera footage, also in April, the employee saw Hatfield remove a black bag from his desk before covering the camera. The microphone on the camera system, however, captured audio "that suggests Hatfield was masturbating," charges state.
School administrators retrieved the black bag, found it contained two albums depicting inappropriate materials and contacted police.
A police detective found that the albums contained pornography, mostly in the form of "collage-style pages which included cutouts and photos of nude girls," charges state. "Each page was unique, depicting a level of meticulous attention in the creation and compilation of the album."
Last week, police served a search warrant at Hatfield's home, where they found "evidence pertinent to the manufacture of the scrapbook," charges state.
Carolyn Sharette, executive director at American Preparatory Academy, issued a statement saying that the 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. We are cooperating fully with the West Valley City Police Department in their investigation."
Sharette said that as of Monday, the school had received no information or report of any student involvement in the case.
She said that when Hatfield was hired in 2013, he passed a Utah State Board of Education background check, including a fingerprint and a Bureau of Criminal Identification report. He was subject of another background check January 24, 2016, which resulted in a satisfactory report on March 22, 2016, and a reissuance of his license by the board of education.
"There were no prior questionable incidents during his employment at the school," Sharette said.
Hatfield has been dismissed from his position, school officials said.