Former teacher/pastor charged with child pornography, sexual assault

Published: Jun. 23, 2014 at 8:41 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM CDT
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Robert Norton (Source: Izard Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Robert Norton (Source: Izard Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

MELBOURNE, AR (KAIT) – Additional sex related charges have been filed against a former teacher and church pastor who was charged with 24 counts of child pornography earlier this year.

The new charges, filed Wednesday, involve girl students in the fourth grade class that he taught last year.

Robert Jackson Norton, 52, of Sage is accused of rubbing the back and buttocks of at least three girl students while they stood by his desk getting help with their work. He is now facing three felonies for second-degree sexual assault. His bond was increased by $100,000 to $340,000. He is being held at the Fulton County Jail in lieu of that bond.

Norton was previously charged with downloading sexually explicit images of children onto his home computer.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Arkansas State Police Special Agent Dennis Simmons said a picture of a minor female engaging in sex was uploaded to Microsoft Skydrive. Simmons said Microsoft flagged the picture to be child pornography and sent the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The name on the account belonged to Robert Norton, according to court documents.

"At this point in the investigation, there is no evidence that Norton had physical contact with any children depicted in the photos," said Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence.

Norton was an elementary teacher at Izard County Consolidated School and a church pastor. Norton has since resigned from both positions.

On Friday, officers arrested Norton on 24 charges of possessing child pornography. Each charge is a Class C felony.

According to the affidavit, Norton was also the subject of a child sexual assault investigation in February.

On June 17, police executed a search warrant on Norton's home. According to Simmons' sworn statement, Norton admitted to downloading child pornography and admitted to going in chat rooms to discuss sex with minors.

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