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      Former SC teacher pleads guilty to child porn charges

      A former Spartanburg teacher pleaded guilty to child porn charges Tuesday. Mark Soza is seen in this undated picture from the Woodruff Middle School website.

      GREENVILLE, S.C. (WACH, AP) - A former Spartanburg teacher pleaded guilty to child porn charges Tuesday.

      According to United States Attorney Bill Nettles, Mark Anthony Soza, 57, pled guilty Tuesday in federal court in Greenville to possession of child pornography. He was arrested Monday.

      Nettles says United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs accepted the plea.

      No date has been set for sentencing, which is pending a judge's review.

      Evidence showed Soza patronized a child pornography operation under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. Nettles said the investigation showed that Soza completed financial transactions which gave him access to websites containing child pornography Agents approached Soza on Feb. 22 and he confessed he had 'large quantities' of child pornography on his computers.

      A forensic investigation conducted on Soza's computers produced analysis that showed there were multiple images and videos of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual acts and other graphic images, according to Nettles.

      Soza faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

      Prior to his arrest, Soza was a teacher for Spartanburg School Disctrict 4.

      According to Fox Carolina, District Four Superintendent W. Rallie Liston said they were notified of an investigation involving an employee on Thursday. He said that employee resigned the next day. The employee was not named in Liston's statement.

      "The district has no information that this situation involves any district students or any other staff members," Liston said in the statement.

      Liston did say that Soza had been with the district since 2003. He said Soza worked as a teacher at Woodruff Elementary School until 2011. He said Soza worked at Woodruff Middle School during this school year.

      According to Nettles, this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.

      (Fox Carolina and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)