HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Beechnut Academy teacher is now in custody after FBI agents reported that child pornography was found in his apartment.
Court documents show that Jason Dion Johnson had been downloading child pornography videos from the internet with at least 94 videos of investigative interest connected to his IP address. The documents also show that Johnson admitted he started downloading and viewing child pornography possibly as far back as 1998.
For 16 years, Johnson taught at Beechnut Academy. School officials said he was a 7th grade social studies teacher in good standing and never had any complaints from students.
However, this past Friday, he was arrested on charges of distribution and possession of child pornography.
Court documents show that FBI agents searched his apartment on Friday and found at least eight videos of child pornography on thumb drives. Investigators also found VHS tapes of a recording from a hidden camera that Johnson had set up. The video shows girls believed to be under 15 changing clothes within a school. Officials do not believe that the recording took place at Beechnut Academy.
One of his students told us that he had a reputation among students, that “he just touch people too much.”
Beechnut Academy is a part of HISD but is managed by Camelot Education.
HISD released a statement:
Federal law enforcement authorities have notified HISD that they have filed a criminal charge of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography against a teacher employed by a third-party company that operates the Beechnut Academy alternative school. HISD is cooperating fully with authorities as they continue their investigation. The district has asked the school management company to verify that the employee passed a thorough background check prior to employment, as required by the district's contract with the company. The teacher is a contract employee with Camelot Schools of Texas, LLC, a company that contracts annually with HISD to provide educational services to students in grades 6-12. HISD takes situations such as this very seriously, as the safety of students is the district's top priority.
Camelot Education also released a statement:
We are appalled by the allegations against Mr. Johnson. He had been a teacher at Beechnut Academy for 16 years, and during his tenure under our management showed no indication of abnormal or inappropriate behavior with students. We are heartened by the fact that none of Mr. Johnson’s alleged criminal activity took place at school. Providing a safe and secure environment for our students is Camelot’s highest obligation and commitment. Mr. Johnson’s employment has been terminated.
Johnson has since been fired. Johnson does have priors, with an indecent exposure charge from 1998. HISD is investigating to see why that did not come to attention sooner.
Johnson has a scheduled court appearance Wednesday morning.