CHANHASSEN, Minn. (KMSP) - Chanhassen High School principal Tim Dorway made his first court appearance Thursday in Carver County. on child pornography charges. Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents arrested Dorway, 44, Tuesday night following the execution of search warrants at his Victoria home and Chanhassen High School.
Dorway is facing 7 counts of possession of child pornography, dating back as much as a decade. According to the criminal complaint, the principal "admitted to viewing child pornography," and his "primary interest" was 11-year-old to 13-year-old girls. Dorway allegedly accessed child pornography at home and using a school IP address.
A tip led Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigators to Dorway’s Dropbox account, which contained 10 videos of child pornography. According to the complaint, Dorway told investigators he gets Dropbox links to videos of child pornography from other individuals, and normally deletes the videos from his Dropbox account after a period of time.
Clarifications from school district
After the criminal complaint was filed Thursday, Eastern Carver County Schools made the following clarifications:
"Eastern Carver County Schools internet service filters all websites for inappropriate content. Mr. Dorway did not access an inappropriate website from inside the district’s network."
"The complaint states that Mr. Dorway accessed his personal Dropbox account one time from inside the district network. His Dropbox account contained the inappropriate videos. The criminal complaint explains Dropbox this way: 'A person who opens a Dropbox account and uploads data to the account may save files in the Dropbox application and access the files from anywhere, on any device …'"
"The Dropbox application is not part of the software provided to district employees. We have confirmed Mr. Dorway did not purchase his Dropbox account with district funds."
Ex-wife supports contact with family
At Thursday’s court appearance, bail was set at $100,000, under the condition of no internet access and supervised contact with his children. Dorway's ex-wife was in court to support his ability to have family contact, according to his defense attorney.
District: Chanhassen students not involved
According to a spokesperson, the alleged porn does not involve children from the school district. The district has put Dorway on administrative leave and launched its own investigation into porn allegations. The BCA’s investigation is active and ongoing.
School district update
Eastern Carver County Schools provided the following update Thursday:
Tim Dorway is on paid leave, which is a standard procedure of public school districts when a staff member is under investigation.
The district’s own investigation regarding Mr. Dorway is on-going, and for now, the criminal proceedings take precedent. By law, we will be able to share with media only the dispensation of the district’s investigation.
The district is working on an interim leadership plan for Chanhassen High School. We expect to notify staff and parents of the plan next week
Message sent to Chanhassen High School parents and all district parents
Today we received some very bad news. Our district administration was informed this morning that Carver County Sheriff's Office arrested Tim Dorway, Chanhassen High School principal. The reason for his arrest was probable cause for possession of child pornography. This is an ongoing investigation and we expect more information will be available in a day or two. Law enforcement have informed us that no district students are involved.
Mr. Dorway is on administrative leave. The school district has a separate investigation process that needs to be followed to determine Mr. Dorway's status as a district employee. That process has started, and it takes time to complete. We will be cooperating with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on its investigation.
This news is a shock to the school and to our district. One of the most difficult things about these situations is that information is very limited. There is nothing more that can be shared at this time. More information will likely come out through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
We have advised Chanhassen students not to share anything on social media. Mr. Dorway has family in this school district who have nothing to do with these allegations. We asked students to keep those individuals in their thoughts and not post anything online or share rumors they may hear.
Chanhassen High School has built a reputation for excellence and we will continue to focus on our students' success. This will be a difficult time, and we will get through it. Our work on this situation is only beginning. Today, Chanhassen High School staff was focused on their students and on dealing with this unfortunate news. We will need your support of our students and staff in the days ahead.
Jim Bauck, Superintendent