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Largo middle school maintenance worker faces charges in child porn investigation

St. Petersburg detectives do not believe the Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School employee victimized students.
 
Joseph Leonard, 42, faces charges after investigators detected child pornography on his computer.
Joseph Leonard, 42, faces charges after investigators detected child pornography on his computer. [ Courtesy of St. Petersburg Police Department ]
Published Dec. 23, 2020

A maintenance worker at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School faces evidence tampering charges after he tried to destroy his computer that was involved in a child pornography investigation, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

When Joseph Leonard, 42, learned he was being investigated, he ran over the computer with his car and threw it in a dumpster, police said. He faces charges of unlawful use of a two-way communications device and tampering with physical evidence.

Leonard worked at the school from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. and rarely had contact with students, according to police. Upon his arrest, he retired from Pinellas County Schools. Detectives do not believe any students from the school were victims.

Leonard was booked in the Pinellas County Jail and remained there on a $4,000 bond Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780.