Fayette County school maintenance worker faces multiple child pornography charges

A man who works as a Fayette County Public Schools maintenance worker was arrested Monday on multiple charges related to child pornography, according to a Lexington police citation filed in Fayette District Court.

James Asher, 42, has been on administrative leave from Fayette schools since January, when officials learned of an investigation involving him, said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Demetrus Liggins. He said officials do not think the allegations are related to Asher’s work with the district.

“Although we are unable to share many details, I want to assure our families, staff, and community that swift and appropriate action has been taken to ensure the safety of our students,” Liggins told the Herald-Leader Tuesday night in a statement. “Until an arrest was made we were unable to communicate about this situation with constituents. However, we can now share that an external law enforcement agency made us aware of this investigation in January. We immediately placed the maintenance worker on administrative leave and he has not returned to work. At this time, we have no reason to believe the allegations in this case took place on any of our campuses or that they were linked to his employment.”

Asher is charged with 25 counts of possessing matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor under 12, one count of distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor under 12, one count of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor between 12 and 18, possession of marijuana and buy/possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.

A police citation said he had ”24 files of child sexual abuse material.”

The files depicted child pornography, children with other children or adults, the citation said.

Asher used “an online peer to peer network” to distribute at least one file, the citation alleged, downloading and uploading an explicit picture of “children.”

An attorney identified in court records as representing Asher did not immediately comment Tuesday night.

Asher was being held in the Fayette County Detention Center on $10,000 cash bond Tuesday, according to court records.