Updated: July 26, 2021 06:46 PM
Created: July 26, 2021 04:20 PM
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has confirmed the suspect in a child pornography investigation out of Woodbury worked at several local schools over the past few years and also served as a firefighter.
William Pinckney, 34, is charged with eight felony counts of possessing pornographic work, after a months-long investigation by the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The task force, led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, received six cyber tips through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Investigators said the tips involved a person using a Google account to store images of child pornography. They searched Pinckney's home last week and found several electronic devices, containing hundreds of files of child pornography.
According to the criminal complaint, each file depicted a different child victim between the ages of 4 and 12.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned Pinckney worked at several local school districts since 2017, including St. Paul Public Schools and Mounds View Public Schools.
Mounds View Public Schools confirmed Pinckney was hired as a paraprofessional in January 2021. School officials said he no longer works for the district, as of July 23. They said they received no complaints about him from students or families, and said, "Law enforcement familiar with his case told us that it has no connection with any Mounds View Public Schools students."
Pinckney also worked at St. Paul Public Schools, according to a district spokesperson. The district said he did an "urban teacher residency" there while working toward a graduate degree from May 2017 through August 2018. He then worked as an emotional behavioral disorder teacher at Humboldt High School from August 2018 through April 2019. St. Paul Public Schools said Pinckney had no complaints in his file.
"I think it's disgusting. When you work with children, it's really important to be a good role model," said Wanda Fingalson, a former teacher at a neighboring district who learned of Pinckney's arrest Monday. "I hope something happens so he doesn't work in any school district anymore."
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS confirmed Pinckney also served as a paid-on-call firefighter/EMT at Woodbury Fire Department from 2018 through 2021. A city spokesperson said: "The city is taking this matter seriously and suspended the employee immediately following his arrest."
Pinckney has no prior felony convictions in Minnesota.
According to the criminal complaint, he admitted to "viewing pornography daily for approximately an hour but denies downloading or viewing child pornography."
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