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School employee charged with child porn

Olsen

ALPENA — Child pornography charges were filed Monday against a now-former employee at All Saints Catholic School in Alpena.

Christopher Olsen, of Alpena, was arraigned in the 88th District Court on two counts of possession of child sexually abusive material and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Olsen had worked in a maintenance position at the school, as well as at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Alpena.

Hundreds of images, many of them depicting prepubescent girls at a very young age, were discovered in Olsen’s possession when search warrants were executed Friday after a month-long investigation by the Michigan State Police Computer Crime Unit out of Traverse City.

In addition to a search of his home and vehicle, Olsen also directed police to a storage building where more materials were found, Alpena County Assistant Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski said in court.

According to Muszynski, Olsen told State Police troopers the images were his.

Each of the three charges could receive up to a 10-year sentence, with the potential for any sentences to run concurrently. All Saints released a statement encouraging the community to share any pertinent information with police.

“We empathize with whomever has been affected by this matter,” wrote Nicole Hatch, principal at All Saints. “At our school and parish, the safety and well-being of our students is our primary concern.”

Olsen was terminated by the school on Friday.

At Monday’s arraignment, defense attorney Roger Bauer entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client and requested a reduction in bond from the $250,00 set when Olsen was arrested Friday.

Olsen has no criminal history, Bauer said, and has spent 26 years as a member of the Air National Guard. He pointed to Olsen’s long history of living in Alpena and the many family members present in court as indications the defendant would not be a flight risk.

“He knows what he’s done,” the attorney said, requesting the bond be lowered to $25,000. “He’s not going to do anything more.”

Muszynski opposed the bond reduction, calling the high bond “extremely appropriate” because of the numerous images accessed by Olsen and the “very, very young” ages of the children depicted.

Stating that the purpose of bond is to ensure court appearances to protect the public, Judge Thomas LaCross reduced Olsen’s bond to $100,00 cash or surety.

Statement from All Saints Catholic School in Alpena

The following written statement was submitted by All Saints Catholic School, signed by the school Principal Nicole Hatch, the Rev. Joseph Muszkiewicz of All Saints Parish, Frank Sander, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Gaylord:

“On Friday, January 10, officials of All Saints Catholic School received information from the Michigan State Police indicating that they had arrested a custodial staff member of our school. Today we learned that he was charged with possession of child sexually abusive material.

Local civil authorities are continuing to conduct their investigation. If you have any information that may be pertinent to their work, please contact the Michigan State Police in Alpena.

We empathize with whomever has been affected by this matter. Our prayers are with them. At our school and parish, the safety and well-being of our students is our primary concern.

As always, to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors or others, regardless of when it occurred, individuals should contact local law enforcement, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (855.444.3911), or the Michigan Department of Attorney General (844.324.3374). Individuals are also encouraged to contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Mr. Larry LaCross, at 989.705.9010.”

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.

Statement from All Saints Catholic School in Alpena

The following written statement was submitted by All Saints Catholic School, signed by the school Principal Nicole Hatch, the Rev. Joseph Muszkiewicz of All Saints Parish, Frank Sander, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Gaylord:

“On Friday, January 10, officials of All Saints Catholic School received information from the Michigan State Police indicating that they had arrested a custodial staff member of our school. Today we learned that he was charged with possession of child sexually abusive material.

Local civil authorities are continuing to conduct their investigation. If you have any information that may be pertinent to their work, please contact the Michigan State Police in Alpena.

We empathize with whomever has been affected by this matter. Our prayers are with them. At our school and parish, the safety and well-being of our students is our primary concern.

As always, to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors or others, regardless of when it occurred, individuals should contact local law enforcement, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (855.444.3911), or the Michigan Department of Attorney General (844.324.3374). Individuals are also encouraged to contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Mr. Larry LaCross, at 989.705.9010.”

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