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Bus driver for St. Lucie Public Schools arrested on 10 child pornography charges

No evidence any St. Lucie County children were victims
Posted at 12:56 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 23:03:28-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie police have arrested a bus driver for St. Lucie Public Schools on 10 child pornography charges.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department intiated an investigation after detectives assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding someone uploading child pornography to an online server.

Detectives identified Kenneth Knotts, 56, of Port St. Lucie.

A review of the content uploaded to the online server revealed five sexually explicit images of children.

Police arrested Knotts at his job Tuesday evening without incident.

According to police, at this time there is no evidence to suggest that any local children were victims of Knotts.

Parents of students on his bus routes were notified of the arrest Wednesday through a phone call.

St. Lucie Public Schools immediately removed Knotts from his duties and he will be recommended for termination. He has been employed by the school district since 2017.

Knotts was taken to the St. Lucie County Jail. He faces five counts each of possession of child pornography and transmission of child pornography by electronic devices.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department SWAT Team executed a search warrant on his home and detectives seized several electronic items.

The investigation remains active and detectives will forensically analyze the seized items.

A spokesperson for St. Lucie Public Schools issued the following statement:

"When notified of the allegations regarding Kenneth Knotts, the school district immediately removed him from his duties, and he will be recommended for termination.

These allegations are a serious breach of ethics and professional standards and such behavior is inexcusable and is of great concern to the School District as it is contrary to our mission to provide a safe and caring environment. Behavior such as this is not tolerated by the school district.

SLPS will refrain from further comment on this matter while the Port St. Lucie Police Department continues to investigate this matter. Any questions pertaining to this incident should be directed to Port St. Lucie Police Department at 772-871-5000."