MONMOUTH – A fifth-grade teacher has been charged with loading two school laptops with photographs depicting nude children in sexually explicit positions.

Maine State Police Sgt. Glenn Lang said Thursday that Christopher Brown, 45, of Monmouth was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of sexually explicit material.

Lang said Brown is free on bail with stipulations that he not have any contact with children.

Police also issued Brown a trespass notice preventing him from returning to Monmouth Middle School, where he has been a fifth-grade teacher for more than a dozen years.

“State police received a call from a school (technical administrator) who said students found photographs on a classroom computer that seemed odd,” Lang said. “It looked like someone was taking pictures of girls on the playground through a window. They were focused on their heads and things like that. It was just very strange.”

Lang said state police Detective David Armstrong, the lead investigator in the case, talked to Brown and asked to look at the laptop computer issued to him this year by the school district. The staff told Armstrong that Brown claimed someone had stolen the laptop the school had issued him last year.

“We said we’d like to look at the current one assigned to him and he said, ‘Oh, I didn’t bring it to school with me,’” Lang said. “But he admitted he was the one taking the pictures and morphing (the heads) on other bodies. That didn’t rise to the level of child pornography. But it was pretty strange behavior.”

Brown finally admitted that he had both laptops at his house, Lang said. “He takes us to his house and, out behind it in the woods, were the two laptops hidden in waterproof bags,” Lang said. “That’s where we found sexually explicit material.”

Lang said it doesn’t appear that any of the children from the middle school were in the photographs.