Share

SDPD: Substitute teacher arrested on suspicion of possessing child porn

Andrew Primes is tied to two school districts and a summer camp

A San Diego law enforcement task force on Tuesday, July 27, arrested a 31-year-old substitute teacher and summer camp instructor on suspicion of possessing child pornography, and detectives were searching for possible victims.

Siren
(File photo)

Andrew Jared Primes has worked for the Poway Unified School District and San Dieguito Union High School District, according to the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Primes also serves as a lead/instructor for a Boy Scouts of America summer camp at Fiesta Island.

“Because of the suspect’s proximity and involvement with children, detectives are looking for potential victims,” Sgt. Garric Nugent, who oversees the task force, said in a statement.

The arrest stems from an investigation that began in response to a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicating Primes had electronically transmitted several possible child pornography images, Nugent said.

During the investigation, detectives determined Primes was responsible for possessing and transmitting “several thousand” child pornography images, Nugent said.

Armed with a search warrant, detectives seized “multiple devices that will be thoroughly analyzed for additional evidence related to child abuse materials,” Nugent said.

Primes worked for the Poway Unified School District during the 2020-21 school year, according to the district.

“As a District, we take situations like this very seriously and will be cooperating fully with authorities in their investigation,” the district said in a statement. “We have notified the families of his former students, and are encouraging anyone with any concerns to contact law enforcement immediately.”

The San Dieguito Union High School District said Primes worked as a teacher between 2016 and 2019 and stepped in as a substitute teacher on and off in 2019 and last year.

“The safety of our students has, is and will always be a top priority for San Dieguito Union High School District,” it said in a statement.

“While these charges and arrest are not related to his employment with SDUHSD, we will alert our SDUHSD community to notify them of his arrest and to encourage them to share any concerns or questions with the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) as soon as possible,” the district said. “We have been given no reason at this time that any current or former students within SDUHSD are connected to, have been impacted by or are victims in any manner, and we have offered our full assistance should it be needed.”

The San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which runs the summer camp, said the criminal case is not tied to Primes’ role with the Boy Scouts.

“We are deeply saddened at this described behavior, which is reprehensible and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands,” the council said in a statement. “We are grateful to the dedicated men and women in law enforcement whose actions helped protect children in our communities.

“While this incident appears to be unrelated to Scouting, upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to remove this individual from Scouting and prohibit him from any future participation in our programs,” the statement continues. “Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs — it is our top priority.”

Anyone who believes Primes may have victimized other children via phone apps, social media or email was asked to contact investigator Ron Burleson at rburleson@sdicac.org.
— David Hernandez is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune

Updates

1:22 p.m. Aug. 4, 2021: This story was updated with a San Dieguito Union High School District statement.


Advertisement