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TEACHER FLED CHILD-ABUSE CONVICTION IN TEXAS

Aug. 29, 2002 – A Central High School special education teacher facing child abuse charges in Texas was to appear in District Court on Thursday for a hearing after being arrested by the FBI on a warrant charging him as a fugitive.
Joseph Michael McCarthy was taken into custody on the CHS school grounds on Tuesday afternoon on the warrant from the state of Texas. Following Thursday's removal hearing, he is expected to be returned to Texas, where he is to begin serving an eight-year prison term, Deputy U.S. Attorney Azekah Jennings said on Thursday.
McCarthy, 46, who was convicted in 1997 of indecency with a child and child pornography charges, fled the state while his case was on appeal, FBI spokesman Eric Rivera said on Thursday.
However, Terrence Joseph, St. Croix superintendent of schools, said on Thursday that a background check on McCarthy by the Education Department did not show the convictions. "When we investigated him, prior to hearing him, he was clean," Joseph said.
Since McCarthy's appeal was pending at the time he was hired, the offenses were not reflected, Joseph said, adding that he later learned a Texas appeals court had upheld the child abuse conviction.
Education spokeswoman Juel Anderson said on Thursday that officials were "a little surprised" that McCarthy had made it through the local hiring and screening process."Everything was done by the book. They especially don't cut corners on special education," she said.
A new special ed teacher is being processed through the personnel system to replace McCarthy at CHS, Anderson said.
Rivera said there was no indication that McCarthy had engaged in any wrongdoing while in the territory.

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