A Newman Catholic School Teacher and coach charged with 32 counts of possessing child pornography has pleaded not guilty.
Michael Switalski, 50, was arrested March 14 after investigators say they found 95 inappropriate images of children appearing to be under the of 18 were found on a flash drive at his home, along with several DVDs.
According to court documents, Switalski was listed as a customer for a Canadian-based child pornography distribution company. The company was shutdown in 2011.
A judge has ruled there is enough evidence for Michael Switalski to head to trial.
The school district said in a statement Switalski will remain on leave during the investigation.
Switalski is free on $35,000 cash bond. He'll return to court September 4.
Newman Catholic Statement:
Newman Catholic Schools (NCS) is shocked and saddened by the recent arrest of Michael Switalski for suspected possession of child pornography. Representatives of the Department of Justice reported to NCS’ Middle/High School campus late Friday afternoon, and NCS fully cooperated with its investigation. Consistent with standard policy, Mr. Switalski was immediately placed on administrative leave, and he will remain on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigations by both the Department of Justice and NCS. NCS respects Mr. Switalski’s right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and therefore wishes to speak specifically about its schools and its students’ safety.
Newman Catholic Schools places the safety and well-being of its students as its highest concern. Importantly, the allegations against Mr. Switalski do not involve any images of any student in NCS, and NCS has not received any complaints regarding Mr. Switalski. It is also not suspected that Mr. Switalski misused any computer or network connection of NCS. Moreover, NCS’ network restrictions would have precluded any illicit material from being accessed through the schools’ networks. As a result, NCS was unaware of any computer misuse by Mr. Switalski.
Since 2003 when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Diocese of La Crosse implemented its Safe Environment Program, Mr. Switalski has had six criminal background checks performed, all of which revealed no criminal history.
NCS will continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
Any further questions or information about this matter should be directed to Newman Catholic Schools’ President, Dr. Janet Klosinski, at 715-845-5735.
We pray for all who are or may be affected by this sad news and for its prompt resolution.
Newman Catholic Schools is a Catholic educational ministry supported and shared by area Catholic parishes. For more information visit our website at www.newmancatholicschools.com
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