MOUNT MORRIS – Members of the New York State Police arrested a former substitute teacher at Dansville Central Schools on child pornography charges Monday afternoon.

State Police arrested Derek Hagen, 29, in the town of Batavia and charged him with two counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child, a class E felony.

State Police received a tip about Hagen’s alleged conduct in April from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Internet Crimes Against Children task force in Albany. After receiving the tip, members of the State Police searched electronic devices belonging to Hagen at his residence and discovered images of child pornography and chats relating to child exploitation.

Members of the Mount Morris Police Department assisted State Police in executing a search warrant at Hagen’s home. The Dansville Central School District was also made aware of the situation and is assisting in the investigation, State Police said.

State Police said “there is no indication” that any Dansville students were involved in the criminal conduct Hagen is accused of engaging in.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Dansville Superintendent Paul Alioto said Hagen had been employed by the district during the 2020-21 school year as a substitute for remedial teaching, English for speakers of other languages and the district’s summer school clinic.

“Mr. Hagen is no longer employed with the District,” said Alioto. “We do not have any information to indicate that the criminal charges relate in any way to his service with the district, nor that they involve any students or former students of the district.”

Alioto said it’s his understanding that the criminal investigation is in its “early stages” and pledged to continue cooperating with investigators.

“We are taking all steps necessary to ensure the welfare and safety of our students,” Alioto said. “As we understand it, the charges, although serious in nature, are allegations at this point, and Mr. Hagen, like all citizens, is presumed innocent of any criminal offense unless and until he is proven guilty in a court of law. We have not been provided with all of the specifics of the criminal charges, and cannot comment further on the case at this time.”

Alioto referred further questions to the State Police.

After his arrest, Hagen was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Mount Morris Village Court Aug. 11.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with concerns or information about Hagen is asked to contact the New York State Police at (585) 398-4100.

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