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Former teacher's aide faces charges for sending pornographic images to 13-year-old girl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE:  November 20, 2014
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris, 610.891.4163

District Attorney Jack Whelan announced that a former teacher’s aide who worked at several after school programs in Philadelphia was arrested for attempting to give gifts and pornographic images through Facebook messenger to a 13-year-old boy. Quasim Patrick Cunningham, 29, of Philadelphia is charged with 40 counts of corruption of minors, dissemination of explicit sexual materials to a minor, and contact with a minor to engage in sexual activity, all felonies of the third degree.

Pennsylvania State Cpl. Michael Fegley and Delaware County Detectives Edmond Pisani and Kenneth Bellis of the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and Chester Police Officer Robert Graves conducted a search warrant of Cunningham’s Philadelphia residence on Nov. 18, where he resided with his mother. Authorities seized digital evidence and confirmed 32 images and eight videos of pornography had been sent to the 13 year-old minor through Facebook messages.

Cunningham was most recently employed by Philadelphia Organization Industrialization Center (OIC) where he worked at the Henry A. Brown Elementary School in the after school program. He was also employed as a teacher’s aide by EducationWorks, located at 3149 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia. Through EducationWorks, he worked in the after school program at several schools including Blankenburg Elementary School, Heston School, and Blaine School.

District Attorney Jack Whelan noted the need to protect children from those who abuse and take advantage of a position of trust. He also commended investigators for their work on this case. “Children are the most treasured, yet most vulnerable, members of our community and they become even more vulnerable when they are told to trust, respect, and obey those in positions of authority. The sexual abuse of children is most destructive when committed by people entrusted with their care. I would like to commend the investigators with the ICAC task force including Detective Pisani and Bellis and Cpl. Fegley for their continued work on this case to ensure there are no other victims.”

Quasim Patrick Cunningham was arraigned on Tuesday, Nov. 18 and remanded to the Delaware County prison in lieu of bail which was set at 10 percent of $100,000 with a condition of a psychological/sexual evaluation. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on December 3.

 

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