Bond Set For Assistant Principal Charged In Child Porn Case

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach educator, who is facing a number of child pornography charges, has won his bid for bond.

CBS4’s Gary Nelson was in court as they learned the Miami-Dade schools veteran has been disciplined before – suspended for 15 days after a DUI arrest.

That’s nothing compared to the trouble he is in now.

Longtime Miami-Dade Health educator Donald Clippinger had nothing to say to reporters after being granted bond Thursday under strict conditions.

The assistant principal at Fienberg Fisher K – 8 Center on Miami Beach was arrested Tuesday at his Miami Shores condo, charged in a vile child pornography case.

“He is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law,” said prominent defense attorney Ben Kuehne who is representing Clippinger.

The allegations in the government arrest warrant seem powerful. Agents say they watched Clippinger in a kiddie porn video chat room sending and receiving graphic photos and recordings.

Assistant United States attorney Daniel Cervantes argued that Clippinger is dangerous.

“He told others in the video chat room that he was a ped (a pedophile),” Cervantes told the judge. “Mr. Clippinger is a danger to the community and should be detained. His involvement in child pornography dates to September 2013.”

Outside the courthouse, Kuehne countered that.

“Don is a good person who has a long history, a positive history,” Kuehne said.

The defense argued Clippinger has strong family ties, has been suspended from his job at the school – won’t be around children and lives with his life partner who was in court Thursday and holds a responsible job.

A major obstacle facing the defendant: Agents say he gave a detailed confession, one the defense may challenge.

“We intend to determine precisely what happened while in government custody, and we will act accordingly,” Kuehne said.

While Clippinger may be out of the lock-up now, he is far from free.

Judge Edwin Torres ordered Clippinger to be kept under strict house arrest, with an ankle monitor.  He can only go to court and the doctor and can’t be around kids, can’t even go to church – because children go to church.

The Miami-Dade school system is moving to immediately terminate Clippinger due to his alleged “disgraceful and reprehensible behavior.”

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