A former area substitute teacher and paraprofessional from Lake Tapawingo faces felony charges after investigators allegedly found child pornography in his cell phone.

Jackson County prosecutors have charged Shawn McNair, 30, with five counts of possessing child porn. He was arrested Tuesday.

According to court records, investigators received a tip in June 2018 that McNair had downloaded a child porn image. The next month, detectives met with McNair, who said he had received some inappropriate pictures but does not seek them or send them out because he is against that. Detectives then obtained a search warrant for his cell phone

McNair later said he had not touched any children but had talked with some online because they had been abused and needed help, and some conversations were explicit and he had exchanged nude pictures.

McNair told detectives he'd been investigated by the Blue Springs Freshman Center in the 2016-17 school year for taking pictures of female students and had been cleared, but was no longer allowed to work at the school.

On McNair's phone and computer, investigators found 31 pictures and 293 videos of suspected child porn, many of them with young girls approximately 7 to 11 years old.

The Blue Springs School District said in a statement it employed McNair as a substitute in August 2016. In October 2018, the district hired McNair as a paraprofessional, working one-on-one with special needs students. His last day with the district was Friday.

In a message to district families and employees, Grain Valley Deputy Superintendent Brad Welle said school records show McNair worked as a substitute teacher in the district from August 2016 to September 2018, after a fingerprint background check cleared him to serve as a substitute in Missouri schools. In September 2018, McNair said he had a full-time job and was no longer able to substitute.

“The criminal activity alleged in this case is appalling and we commend the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force for their diligence in finding and charging those who commit crimes against children,” Welle’s statement continued. “We are available to cooperate fully with law enforcement on this investigation. We urge anyone with information on the criminal activity alleged, or any potential crime, to contact the appropriate law enforcement agency right away.”