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School psychologist may face local charges

A Cheatham County school district child psychologist who was arrested in Florida on child pornography charges may face local charges, Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said.

Richard Pitcock, 51, who has been employed by the district since 1998, was charged on Aug. 4 with 25 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of using a computer to compile child pornography in Broward County, Fla.

The school district immediately suspended Pitcock without pay pending the result of an investigation.

Breedlove said the Sheriff's Office searched Pitcock's Randy Road home in Ashland City.

Computers and other equipment were seized during the Aug. 5 search and taken to the Dickson County Sheriff's Office, which has conducted an initial analysis.

"Local charges are expected based on the evidence found so far and our investigation continues," Breedlove said.

The sheriff added that there appears to be no local victims.

Pitcock remains in the Broward County, Fla., jail on a $130,000 bond and authorities there continue to investigate as well, according to Keyla Concepción, a spokesperson with the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

A court date in Florida has not yet been set.

In his role as a school psychologist, Pitcock mainly conducted evaluations for special-needs students in grades K-12.

The Cheatham County school district has said it is cooperating with the law enforcement during the investigations and its top priority is the safety and well-being of its students.

During the Florida investigation, which began last month, detectives said they discovered 25 images of minor children engaged in sexually explicit poses and sexual activity on his computer. The children ranged in age from 9-12.

Detectives with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Task Force arrested Pitcock, who was visiting from Ashland City, after they served a search warrant at the St. Maurice Inn in Hollywood, Fla., after he returned to his room.

During the investigation, authorities discovered someone was sharing or advertising child pornography images through the Internet at various hotels or motels.

Authorities tracked the activity to the hotel's street address and served a search warrant. The hotel room was empty, but they found Pitcock's belongings.

The only mark in Pitcock's Cheatham County personnel file was a traffic ticket, which he received on Jan. 11, 2013. He self-reported the incident.