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Juniata County teacher, coach faces child porn charges

AG: Harris used fake ID to give alcohol to minors; made photos, videos then shared them on social media

MIFFLINTOWN — A volunteer track coach at Juniata High School who was also a substitute teacher at Juniata and Newport high schools was arrested and charged with possession and dissemination of child pornography and other related charges, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.

Shapiro’s office said 20-year-old Peyton William Harris hosted a party at his Mifflintown home where he furnished alcohol to minors using a fake ID. Shapiro said police investigation revealed that, during the party, Harris captured photos and videos of minors engaged in sexual activity without their knowledge or consent and then shared them on social media.

“Mr. Harris was trusted to take care of and empower minors, and instead he exploited them,” Shapiro said in a press release announcing the arrest. “These charges are very disturbing. My office has a zero tolerance policy for abuse of children, and will prosecute the defendant to the fullest extent of the law.”

Shapiro said that because of his regular contact with minors through his employment, anyone who may have information regarding this case or any other similar incidents involving Harris is asked to contact Trooper Michael Short with the Pennsylvania State Police Lewistown barracks at (717) 320-1010.

Harris has been charged with photographing sexual abuse of children, dissemination of sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, invasion of privacy, corruption of minors, furnishing alcohol to minors and carrying a false identification card.

Harris is currently free on $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 30 before Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline T. Leister in Port Royal.

Shapiro said Deputy Attorney General Kristyne Crist will prosecute the case.

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