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Child pornography case moves to federal court

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A Lafayette teacher arrested five months ago on misconduct charges involving a 16-year-old Columbus girl now faces a federal child pornography charge that carries a maximum 15-year sentence.

Darren R. Williams, 25, was brought before a federal judge in Hammond on Tuesday after being arrested on a charge of knowingly accessing with the intent to view child pornography, court records show. Federal Magistrate Paul Cherry ordered Williams into temporary detention pending a probable-cause hearing set to take place in federal court Friday.

The judge ruled that Williams is eligible for a court-appointed attorney.

Lt. Matt Myers, a spokesman for Columbus police, said the federal charges will take precedence over the Columbus case, which was classified as a Class D felony carrying a potential six-month to three-year sentence upon conviction.

Myers said Columbus police officer Lt. Mike Ward will aid federal investigators in the new case.

The arrest warrant filed in federal court says the material that Williams has been charged with accessing involved “an actual minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”

In August, Williams was arrested by Columbus police for reportedly disseminating inappropriate material to a teenage girl in Columbus. At the time, Columbus police worked on the case with investigators from Lafayette, where Williams was a school band teacher.

Myers said information also was shared with federal investigators.

Williams was suspended from his job as a band teacher after the first arrest last summer.

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