Teacher faces child porn charges after taking photos of underage girl, Palmetto police say

Quentin Peterson
Quentin Peterson

Palmetto police have arrested a Sarasota teacher on child porn charges.

According to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Quentin Peterson, 25, was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of possession of child pornography. Sarasota police made the arrest at Booker High School, where he works as a math teacher.

The Palmetto Police Department opened an investigation into Peterson, who lives in Palmetto, after an unnamed person said they had sexual relations with him in May 2017, according to an arrest report. Shortly after the complaint, police seized "multiple cellular phones as well as laptop computers and memory cards" from Peterson for forensic examination.

The search revealed photos of Peterson, who appeared to be involved in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. Investigators found pictures of the two kissing and lying in bed with each other. There were also multiple pictures of the teen with her breasts exposed.

When the girl was questioned by detectives regarding the photos, she claimed they were "doctored" but later admitted being in a sexual relationship with Peterson, according to an arrest report. Police say Peterson has been questioned twice about the photos "but has denied any wrongdoing."

"According to the Palmetto Police Department, it appears as if none of the students at Booker High School were impacted by his actions. Mr. Peterson has been placed on administrative leave with no interaction with students as we investigate this matter," a Sarasota County Schools spokesperson said in a statement.

Peterson began working for the Sarasota County School District on Feb. 28. He is being held on a $50,000 bond on a charge of possession of child pornography.