Elementary school teacher accused of trading child porn

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An HISD teacher is in federal custody, accused of sending and receiving hundreds of images of child pornography over email. Court records say he even logged in from an HISD computer.

Robert Peri, a general music teacher at Memorial Elementary, was arrested Wednesday by Homeland Security Investigations agents after a search of his home. Monday, he was charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on counts of possession of child pornography and distribution and receipt of child pornography.



HISD has placed him on administrative leave.

According to the affidavit, federal agents received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about 263 'concerning images' linked to Peri's email address. The document details graphic images of children ages 3 to 13. At least once, it says, the child porn was accessed from an IP address registered to HISD.

The emails dated back to as early January 2019.

One email exchange from May said, "Would like password have more to trade, :-). "

The investigation led authorities to Peri's home in Greatwood Wednesday, where they executed a search warrant. According to the affidavit, it yielded two computers and two flash drives with pornographic images of children. Peri allegedly admitted he would send and receive them.

"I am severely disappointed," said neighbor Patti Shust. "Severely. Very disappointed."

Shust recalled year after year in which Peri would go all out for Halloween and other interactions with children.

"He gave piano lessons and the mothers would come and drop off their kids," she said.

Memorial Elementary notified parents with a phone call with only vague information. Many yearned for more details and hoped no students were involved.

HISD gave the following statement after Peri's arrest:
HISD has learned that a Memorial Elementary School teacher has been arrested by authorities. Given the seriousness of the allegations, the employee has been placed on administrative leave. We take situations such as this very seriously, and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.

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