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Ex-teacher accused of child porn possession

Man has worked with children for more than 10 years, deputies say

HOUSTON – A former substitute teacher and teacher's aide in Fort Bend County is accused of possessing child pornography.

Joe Cephas Ross was arrested at his Richmond area apartment on Friday. Detectives said they found a large amount of child porn, and said Ross may have been collecting child porn for a long time in multiple communities, including Rosenberg and Austin.

Deputies said he has been working with children in the area for more than 10 years.

Ross was employed as a teacher's aide at Pink Elementary School in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District. Last year, he was a substitute teacher for the district.

"It's kind of shocking so close to home, It makes you want to take your kid out but you have no choice they gotta go to school," said Kathy Lee whose son is a 4th grader at Pink.

Investigators said Ross possibly had inappropriate contact last year involving three students attending Pink Elementary School.

LCISD released a statement Monday that read in part, "The district is outraged at the alleged conduct. We will never compromise the safety of our students and we will always act swiftly to protect them. We are doing everything possible to assist the Sheriff's Office with its investigation."

The school district said Ross was immediately terminated.

Deputies said Ross also may have worked at Jane Long Elementary School, a YMCA in Richmond and Goodwill Industries.

"I can assure our residents that we are aggressively addressing the issue of individuals trying to exploit our children on the internet," Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said. "We have dedicated a group of detectives to investigate these types of offenses and we will continue to diligently pursue these predators."

Ross, 51, is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail on a $40,000 bond.

Detectives are asking parents to question any children who may have had contact with Ross, also known as "Mr. Joe," last year, and if so, they are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 281-341-4665.