PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A private Christian school employee was arrested Wednesday on child pornography charges, authorities said.
According to a complaint affidavit, a search warrant was executed Wednesday at Jesus Mendez's home in Pembroke Pines.
Police said Mendez, 35, was interviewed and admitted that he downloads and masturbates to pornography of "young girls."
Authorities said Mendez downloaded the illegal files onto his Dell laptop and would then transfer the files to an external hard drive.
Police said one video Mendez confessed to viewing depicted a girl between the ages of 6 and 8 being raped by a man.
Mendez faces a total of six counts of possession of child pornography and one count of using a computer to compile child pornography.
According to the affidavit, Mendez is employed at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale.
"We have children. We have people who attend here and it is very upsetting," Lenny Trujillo told Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos.
The school released a statement on its website, saying the IT support employee had been suspended, effective immediately.
"We have a strong commitment to child safety and security here at Calvary Chapel and at this time, we have no evidence to suggest that any of this took place here or on the church's secure network," the statement read in part. "We believe places of worship should be among the safest places in the world and we are advocates for vulnerable children.
"Our hearts are broken by this news and we are grieved by this revelation. Child pornography is not a victimless crime. It grieves the heart of our Savior. Let's take some time to pray for victims of child pornography and any victims of sexual exploitation of any kind."
Mendez is being held in lieu of a $52,000 bond.
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