HISD teacher accused of distributing child porn

August 31, 2012 8:13:40 PM PDT
He's been working with children in Houston for years. Now, a local elementary school teacher is behind bars, facing child pornography charges.

Authorities are accusing former Anderson Elementary School third grade teacher Juan Villarreal of distributing child pornography. Police say the children seen on the obscene videos could have been as young as eight years old.

Now he's in federal custody and that's where many parents believe, he should remain.

For Maria Garcia, the Labor Day holiday is off to a rocky start.

"I have a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, and I'm thinking about maybe changing schools," she said.

Her children brought home a letter from school she'd rather not have to read.

"There was a lady walking behind me and I'm like, 'Did you just read this letter?' and I showed it to her and we were both like, oh my goodness," Garcia said.

Federal agents arrested Villarreal early Friday morning after raiding his Mission Bend home. On his computer allegedly were dozens of sexual pictures and video of girls, and boys between the ages 8 and 15.

We went to Villarreal's house but his wife and daughter wouldn't talk to us.

Late this afternoon, HISD released a statement, reading in part:

"The safety of all the students is top priority. The district takes these charges very seriously and will work closely with law enforcement agencies."

"He was teacher last year for my son," a concerned parent told us.

Villarreal faces between five and 20 years in prison, if convicted and will likely never teach again.

It's a reality too confusing for his young students.

"We are sad," one student told us.

It's even tougher for parents to explain.

"Really, I don't know yet. I have to think about it and talk to my wife about it before we tell them what's going on," concerned father Arturo Ponce said.

Villarreal's detention hearing is set for September 5.

Meanwhile, counselors will be on hand at Anderson for students or parents, who need them.


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