A former Bridgeport elementary school teacher has been charged with possessing thousands of child pornography pictures and videos, two months after police accused him of sexually assaulting a girl under 16.
Police officers arrested Thomas Bavedas, 38, at his home in Milford Thursday afternoon. He was held on $500,000 bond and was to appear in Milford Superior Court on Friday.
Authorities said Bavedas had more than 60,000 photographs and more than 3,000 video images of child pornography on his home computer, including some photos he allegedly took himself.
Bavedas intended to plead not guilty to the charges Friday, said his lawyer, Edmund Q. Collier. Collier said he also expected Bridgeport police to file additional child pornography charges.
Bavedas allegedly recorded himself committing a sex act in the presence of a minor and took some photos of naked children, said Officer Vaughn Dumas, a spokesman for Milford police.
Most of the images found on Bavedas' computer were downloaded from the Internet, Dumas said.
The preteen children in the photos allegedly taken by Bavedas were all from the Milford area, and investigators believe they have identified all of them, Dumas said.
Milford police are trying to identify the children in the other pictures and in the videos. It was not clear how many children Bavedas allegedly filmed or where they were filmed, police said.
Dumas said some of the videos have been turned over to Bridgeport police, whom he said are investigating Bavedas.
Bavedas was a fourth-grade teacher at Waltersville Elementary School in Bridgeport. He was charged in May with sexually assaulting a girl under 16 whom he knew three times between 2001 and 2005.
He was also arrested the same month on cocaine and marijuana possession charges, and he resigned from his teaching job. He posted $130,000 bail for the charges brought in May.
Collier said his client would not be able to post the new $500,000 bond.
Messages seeking comment were left with Bridgeport school officials and Bridgeport police.
Milford police seized Bavedas' home computer when they arrested him on the sexual assault charges in May and later discovered the child pornography, authorities said.
Bavedas' arrest on Thursday was first reported by the New Haven Register and Connecticut Post. He is charged in the new case with first-degree possession of child pornography, importing child pornography, two counts of employing a minor in an obscene performance, four counts of risk of injury to a minor and two counts of voyeurism.
"We all knew that the charges were coming since the date of his first arrest," Collier said. "They're extremely serious charges. I think Mr. Bavedas has taken steps to deal with whatever issues he may have."