Former speech therapist facing child porn charges

FRESNO, Calif. Derek Pitre, 57, was in the Fresno County Jail Friday night after officers tracked him down. They've been looking for him for the past several months.

Derek Pitre is not only facing state charges, federal charges are pending. Clovis Police say he bought thousands of child porn images from overseas and didn't stop there.

The evidence Clovis Police detectives found inside a storage unit left them bewildered. Investigators say Derek Pitre not only purchased thousands of images of young girls, he printed them out on high quality photo paper.

Detectives say Pitre spent at least the past year collecting pornographic pictures of girls as young as 3 years old.

"The time required to print 50,000 sheets of paper shows he invested a lot of time, money and had a lot of value for this it was important to him," Clovis Police Detective Dustin Dodd said.

In January, an anonymous letter led investigators to the Clovis apartment Pitre rented. They took three computers and found 130,000 pictures of child pornography on the hard drives. When officers returned to arrest Pitre, he had already moved out.

Officers caught up with him months later at his estranged wife's Clovis home. Officers were responding to a domestic problem between the two when they stumbled across Pitre. When he was questioned about why he printed the pictures out, he requested an attorney.

A separate tip earlier this week led investigators to a Derrel's Mini Storage. What they found there was unsettling and unusual.

"To find his storage unit filled with these images was shocking. I was expecting to find more images but not that volume and not in that form," Dodd said. "When we loaded it up and we shut the tailgate, it barely fit. We were standing there looking at the tailgate of the truck going oh my gosh."

Pitre is a former speech therapist for children with disorders. Police say he was not employed at the time of his arrest. Detectives say it does not appear he acted inappropriately with any of the children he worked with in the past.

Detectives also found 4 thousand video images on Pitre's computer. He's being held on 21 counts of child pornography. His bail is $500,000.

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