A Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall mental health worker was arrested this morning on suspicion of possessing a large amount of child pornography, Pleasant Hill police said. Thomas Perez Jewell, 53, was arrested at about 7 a.m. after detectives said they found a “very large” amount of child pornography on hard drives at Jewell’s home on Massolo Drive in Pleasant Hill. Jewell has worked as a therapist for the Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall in Martinez for several years, but he is now on administrative leave, police said. The facility was not aware he had been engaging in any suspicious activity. “All of the criminal investigation was handled by the Police Department,” juvenile hall Chief Deputy Probation Officer Paula Hernandez said. A Pleasant Hill police officer wouldn’t disclose how police discovered the alleged pornography, but said Jewell doesn’t appear to have a prior criminal history. Jewell is being held at Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on a bail of $1 million. No court date has been set for his case. Officials are not conducting an investigation into other juvenile hall employees.
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