Clearwater teacher arrested on 10 counts child pornography

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A sixth-grade math and science teacher at a Clearwater school was arrested Tuesday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography, according to police.

Largo police arrested Robert James Plotkin, 57, after his roommate filed a complaint with law enforcement March 15.

For the last five years, Plotkin taught at Clearwater Intermediate School.

Plotkin’s roommate found the material on his personal computer, said Lt. Joe Coyle, public information officer with the Largo Police Department.

“After an argument over a vehicle, the roommate called the Largo Police Department to report the child pornography and advised Plotkin of this,” Coyle said in a statement. “While Largo police were in route to this call, Plotkin threw his laptop into a lake behind the apartment complex. Once on scene, Plotkin advised the Largo officers to the fact that the computer was in the lake. Plotkin retrieved the laptop for the officers on his own accord.”

Officers took the computer, but Plotkin was not arrested at the time.

Detectives with the Cyber Crime Unit later retrieved data from the device. An investigator discovered specific images from the hard drive, confirming their nature and ages of the children, which were three to 17.

Detectives then interviewed Plotkin Tuesday at Clearwater Intermediate School, bringing him to the Largo police station, where he was arrested.

He was also charged with one count of tampering with evidence.

Coyle said the investigation is ongoing.

Les Neuhaus is an all-platform journalist, with specialties in print reporting and writing. In addition to Florida Politics, he freelances as a general-assignment and breaking-news reporter for most of the major national daily newspapers, along with a host of digital media, and a human rights group. A former foreign correspondent across Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, Les covered a multitude of high-profile events in chronically-unstable nations. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which he served as a Security Policeman, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in political science. He is a proud father to his daughter and enjoys spending time with his family.