Puterbaugh
Puterbaugh

Former Dover Area School District music teacher Matthew Puterbaugh wants a York County judge to suppress alleged video images and child pornography police found on his cellphone and home computer, according to a pretrial motion filed by his attorney.

Puterbaugh, 47, of 1000 Conewago Road in Dover Township, faces trial on three cases in York County Court — the first for allegedly possessing hundreds of images of child pornography; the second for allegedly illegally videotaping female students without their knowledge and touching some of them; and the third for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old student.

In the first case, Northern York County Regional Police filed 661 counts of possession of child pornography against Puterbaugh, which in May were amended to seven counts, all third-degree felonies, according to court records.

The motion: Defense attorney Alan Goldberg on July 3 filed a pretrial motion in the pornography case. Part of that motion argues police illegally searched Puterbaugh's cellphone.

Puterbaugh "had a reasonable expectation of privacy" regarding his phone and did not "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily" consent to let police search it, according to the motion.

But charging documents filed by Northern Regional Police Detective Mark Baker state, "Puterbaugh was advised his cell phone was going to be seized and a search warrant obtained to review the contents at a future date. ... (He) indicated the phone was his only means of communication and was very upset the process could be potentially lengthy and requested to provide consent so the process could be expedited."

He then gave written consent for his phone to be analyzed by police, documents state.

Police found "numerous" video files of prepubescent girls taken without their knowledge, including in school band areas and school hallways, according to documents. The girls were dressed, police said.

A search: Based on that evidence, investigators obtained a warrant to search Puterbaugh's home, including his home computer, which is where police found 661 images of children having sex, charging documents allege. None of those children were Dover students, police said.

Puterbaugh's attorney also is asking a judge to suppress evidence police seized from the defendant's home, arguing the search of his home was the result of what police saw on his cellphone, according to the motion. The theory is that if the cellphone search was illegal, any evidence police uncovered by looking at the cellphone also should be suppressed from trial.

Puterbaugh had a preliminary hearing Tuesday on his two newer cases. A 25-year-old woman testified she started having sex with him when she was 12 years old, and said he was her fourth-grade music teacher.

Police allege Puterbaugh had sex with the girl multiple times from the time she was 12 until she was 16 years old.

In that case, Puterbaugh is charged with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors and indecent assault.

Thirteen other young women — including many current Dover Area students — testified Puterbaugh either touched them or videotaped them without their permission. At least four girls also said Puterbaugh touched their thighs, shoulders and buttocks during class time.

For those allegations, he is charged with numerous offenses including invasion of privacy, intercepting communications and corruption of minors.

Northern Regional Police have said they found child pornography on Puterbaugh's home computer while investigating the other allegations.

Puterbaugh was placed in unpaid leave after the allegations came to light, the Dover Area School District has said.