Peninsula teacher charged with possession of child pornography

An elementary school teacher is being charged with three counts in relation to child pornography.

Adriano Gerald Benigno, a learning centre teacher who helped students with disabilities, was charged with possession, accessing and making child porn available through internet file sharing.

by Matt Woodman

St. Stephen's Elementary School Monday afternoon (Matt Woodman photo)

An elementary school teacher has been charged with three counts in relation to child pornography.

Adriano Gerald Benigno, a learning centre teacher who helped students with disabilities, was charged with possession, accessing and making available child porn through the Internet.

At 6:13 a.m. on Friday March 11, police  searched a house on Raleigh Court in the Halifax Peninsula. Police aren’t releasing the exact address of the home.

Officers from the Halifax Police and RCMP found computer equipment they say contained child pornography.

Benigno is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on April 26.

“A lot of these charges can include jail time up to but not exceeding 10-years,” says Constable Brian Palmeter of the Halifax Police.

Constable Brian Palmeter explains the basic investigation process of child pornography cases.

Brian Palmeter audio

Benigno, 44, is on paid administrative leave from St. Stephen’s Elementary School on Highland Avenue in the North End.  “The school was shocked and saddened by the news,” says Doug Hadley of the Halifax Regional School Board. “Understandably parents are very concerned. A number did call or visit the school to speak with the principal.”

Hadley says the school has employed a qualified substitute teacher to replace Benigno. All students who worked with Benigno were contacted personally by the principle and all students in the school received a newsletter about the incident.

“There isn’t any reason to believe any of our students were ever at risk,” Hadley says.