A Belleville man charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography worked with kids at an O'Fallon martial arts academy, police said.
Detectives started the investigation into 23-year-old Michael Roussel based on a suspicious Craigslist post, Belleville Police Master Sgt. Todd Keilbach said. A pornographic image of a child was distributed to undercover detectives during the investigation, he said.
Roussel was arrested Tuesday after a search warrant was executed at his home at about 6:30 a.m. Police seized multiple electronic devices and found several images and photos of child porn, Keilbach said.
Roussel was charged with one count of dissemination of child porn with the victim under 13 and seven counts of possession of photos and videos of child porn with the victim under 13.
It's not known if Roussel produced any images himself or if he had any inappropriate contact with children, Keilbach said. He worked with children when he was employed at the O'Fallon YMCA in 2016 and 2017. He has been a martial arts instructor for the past six years and most recently worked at S.I.M.S. Martial Arts and Fitness Academy in O'Fallon.
He also worked at The Goddard School preschool and day care in Shiloh, but Keilbach said he did not know Roussel's role there.
S.I.M.S. did not immediately respond for comment Wednesday night. The academy teaches both children and adults, and Roussel was the Youth Programs Coordinator and chief instructor of all youth programs, according to the academy's website.
Belleville police are not aware of additional victims but encourage parents to speak to their kids if they have been around the YMCA, Goddard or the martial arts academy. Parents can report any concerns to their local police department.
"We continue to work with Belleville PD on this case and have reason to believe this case is still developing," St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said. "We cannot reiterate enough that we strongly encourage anyone who has children who have had contact with this defendant to bring forward any concerns or observations to investigators as soon as possible."
Roussel's bail was set at $750,000, and he was in the St. Clair County Jail as of Wednesday evening.
No further information will be released about the victims, in order to protect their privacy, Keilbach said.