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Houston elementary school teacher accused of possessing, distributing child porn

HOUSTON – A Houston elementary school teacher is on administrative leave after being accused of possessing and distributing child pornography, according to documents filed in court.

Robert Peri, a teacher at Memorial Elementary School, was arrested after a warrant was executed at his Sugar Land home Wednesday, court documents reveal.

In Oct. 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a tip that child pornography was being distributed by a particular email address. The Department of Homeland Security investigated the tip and the 263 files that were distributed or accessed by the email address.

Investigators say between Dec. 2018 and Sept. 2019, Peri accessed child pornography from computers at his Sugar Land home and from a computer with an IP address that is registered to the Houston Independent School District. Officials wrote in a criminal complaint that Peri sent and commented on child pornography using the email address and asked for passwords to online albums containing child pornography.

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After months of investigation and surveillance, officials executed a search warrant Wednesday at Peri’s home located in the 6900 block of Woodside Drive in Sugar Land, Texas.

Officials say Peri told investigators how he accessed child pornography and admitted to saving the images on a flash drive and on a spare computer in his home, court records revealed.

Peri was arrested and faces federal possession and distribution of child pornography charges.

In a statement, the Houston Independent School District announced that they were cooperating with investigators.

“HISD has learned that a Memorial Elementary School teacher has been arrested by authorities,” officials wrote. “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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Patti Shust, one of Peri’s neighbors said the news of his arrest is spreading across the neighborhood.

“My neighbor that used to live across the street just called me and said she can’t believe it,” she said. ”All I can say is I’m extremely disappointed because many people in this neighborhood thought that Robert was top-notch.”

This story was originally published by our sister station in Houston, KPRC.