HOUSTON – A Houston teacher is off the job after being arrested on child pornography charges.
Jason Dion Johnson was arrested on Friday and charged with distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography.
He appeared in federal court Wednesday and waived his right to a pretrial hearing. he will remain in federal custody until his trial.
"I have no comment concerning the facts of the case. This is a very new case. There's not been an indictment. The case now proceeds to a grand jury. And we are in the process of investigating the case ourselves," defense attorney Warren Fitzgerald said.
Johnson, 50, was employed as a seventh grade social studies teacher at Beechnut Academy, but has since been fired. The academy is a Houston Independent School District alternative school.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, an FBI investigation identified Johnson as being linked to a computer participating in the distribution of child porn movies.
During execution of a search warrant on Friday at Johnson's Houston residence, investigators said they found several videos of underage girls being sexually exploited. The search also yielded several unmarked VHS tapes that showed a hidden camera in a changing area within a school.
On the tapes, young girls are seen removing clothing and changing into uniforms, according to prosecutors.
Investigators said they do not believe the footage was taken at Beechnut Academy.
According to HISD, Beechnut Academy is operated by a contractor named Camelot Schools of Texas. Johnson was hired and employed by Camelot.
Beechnut Academy released a statement to KPRC 2 that read, "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."
Court records show Johnson received deferred adjudication for an indecent exposure charge in 1998.
If convicted, Johnson faces between five and 20 years imprisonment, as well as another 10 years in prison.