A Mesa woman’s suspicions led to the arrest Tuesday of her 34-year-old husband in a child pornography investigation.
James Paul Ferguson was arrested on suspicion of six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor at the New Arizona Family counseling center, 621 W. Southern Ave. He is in Maricopa County’s Madison Street Jail in Phoenix on $500,000 bail.
Ferguson was a counselor for recovering adult substance abusers.
Detectives began investigating Ferguson on March 3 after his wife brought them a computer hard drive and expressed her fear that he may have saved child pornography on it, said Mesa detective Jim Mills.
Ferguson’s wife became concerned about the welfare of their three children after she found the hard drive in their shed alongside videos and magazines with "young themes," Mills said.
A partial review of the hard drive revealed six images of boys and girls younger than the age of 15 having sexual intercourse or striking sexually explicit poses, police said.
"At this point, there’s no reason to believe his children were ever victims, but there is a strong possibility of additional charges as we continue to dissect his computer hard drive," said Mesa detective Tim Gaffney.
Ferguson once worked in Ohio as a child protective service caseworker, Mills said.
Among the factors detectives asked a judge to take into consideration when setting Ferguson’s bail was his home’s proximity to Falcon Hill Elementary School, 1645 N. Sterling.