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TUSD virtual teacher arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor

Tucson Police Department
Posted at 2:33 PM, May 30, 2024

A 46-year-old Tucson man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Tucson Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a man suspected of uploading child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from TPD.

Working with the TPD/Forensic Electronic Media Unit, Arizona Attorney General's Office, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, detectives were able to locate the suspect who uploaded the images, the news release said.

Detectives identified the suspect as Leonard Jackson Drake. Investigators learned Drake was a virtual teacher who taught online classes for Tucson Unified School District, the news release said. TUSD was notified of the investigation.

On Wednesday, investigators served a search warrant on Drake's home. Detectives interviewed the suspect and recovered several electronic devices during the search. Drake was charged on suspicion of ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and transported to Pima County Jail.

In response to the arrest, TUSD issued the following statement:

"Tucson Unified School District is aware of the recent arrest of a faculty member.

The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority. We are deeply concerned by this situation and are cooperating fully with Tucson Police Department in their investigation.

The employee is currently not working during the summer and will not be allowed to return to work during the ongoing investigation. Hiring documents show that the employee cleared a background check and continues to maintain a valid fingerprint card as required by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

We want to reassure our community that this is an isolated incident, and it does not reflect the policies, values, or standards of behavior that we expect from our staff members. We are committed to maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.

Due to the ongoing nature of this criminal and legal matter, we are unable to provide further details. We ask for your understanding and patience as we work through this situation. We have full confidence in the police to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure due process is followed."

The investigation is ongoing.