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Police: Fairfax County middle school teacher arrested on child pornography charges

56-year-old Robert Keith Rowe. (Arlington County Police)

A Fairfax County middle school teacher was arrested on child pornography charges, the Arlington County Police Department said.

Fifty-six-year-old Robert Keith Rowe, of Arlington, was arrested after police received a tip into possible online "criminal behavior" and a search warrant was executed at his home on Thursday.

Detectives said evidence collected at his home led to the charges against Rowe.

Rowe is a current teacher at Sandburg Middle School, in the Fairfax County part of Alexandria. According to the school's website, he taught ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

A spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools said that upon news of his arrest, Rowe was immediately suspended without pay.

"It's very scary, and concerning that we live in a world where we have to worry about these type of things," said Jinna Vildaurre, who lives just a few doors down from Rowe on South Forest Drive in Arlington.

Vildaurre and several other neighbors told ABC7 News that Rowe was married and a father of two who mostly kept to himself.

"You know, I'd see him driving by, taking groceries in and out of the car, doing yard work - but they really just kept to themselves," Vildaurre said. “I'm just heartbroken for the family. I know there are two children that live in the home, so it's really heartbreaking for his wife and children."

The Arlington County Police Department said detectives have not located evidence to suggest Rowe has had inappropriate contact with children.

In a letter sent home on Thursday, Sandburg's principal reassured families that Rowe was suspended right away, and said the school has "no reason to believe that any of our students are in any way involved or directly affected."

Detectives say the investigation is ongoing. They ask anyone with information about Rowe that may be pertinent to the case to contact the Arlington County Police Department.

Rowe is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

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