BELTON — A former Belton High School teacher who inadvertently showed pornography to students on a projection screen in his class is now charged with possession of child pornography.
James Edward Alleman, 45, of Temple — a computer science teacher who taught students in ninth through 12th grades — resigned from the Belton Independent School District on Sept. 28, the day of the incident. He was arrested Nov. 18. Alleman allegedly had child pornography on a district-owned laptop, iPad, external hard drive and MicroSD card, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Telegram.
When the pornography appeared on his classroom screen, Alleman reportedly said, “That should have never happened,” the affidavit said.
Alleman’s district-owned computer laptop and iPad were taken by school officials, who gave them to Belton Police officers and gave them permission to search the devices. An external hard drive and SD card in Alleman’s desk were also given to the police, the affidavit said.
Alleman was hired by the district on Aug. 11, 2016, according to BISD.
“The safety and well-being of students is our highest priority,” Todd Schiller, BISD assistant superintendent for human resources, said in a statement to the Telegram. “Upon learning of inappropriate use of technology by former Belton High School teacher James Alleman, he was immediately removed from the classroom, and Belton Police Department was notified.
“In compliance with Board policy, the Superintendent reported Mr. Alleman to the State Board for Educator Certification,” Schiller said.
Officers searched the devices on Oct. 11 and found Alleman reportedly searched for pornography in both Chinese and Japanese, using specific terms to search. Those findings led officers to request a search warrant for the hard drive and SD card, and the search warrant was received Nov. 6.
The search was done Nov. 7 on the hard drive and SD card, and four short videos were found on the SD card, according to the affidavit. The videos were of a young girl in the bathroom who, at times, was naked, the affidavit said.
The investigators located someone who identified the young girl and said she was 10 years old. That person also recognized where the videos were taken. The person didn’t know videos were taken or that a camera was set up in that location, according to the affidavit.
The girl was interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and she reportedly identified herself as the girl in the video. She said she didn’t know the videos were taken and didn’t recognize the place where the videos were taken.
Bell County Justice of the Peace Ted Duffield issued the arrest warrant on Nov. 16.
The Belton Police Department declined to say Thursday whether the girl was a Belton ISD student at the time the videos were taken, spokesman Paul Romer said.
“In deference to the victim, the Belton Police Department will not release any additional information about the case. However, we will be prepared to testify about the facts of the case, if it goes to trial,” Romer said.
Parents given limited information
Belton High administrators only told Alleman’s students and parents about his resignation and future plans to continue their instruction. The district didn’t provide information that Alleman was under investigation and that was the reason he was no longer employed by the district. The remainder of the district’s parents and guardians were not contacted, BISD spokeswoman Elizabeth Cox said.
“Anytime a teacher resigns during the school year, the campus informs students and parents of plans to provide continuity of instruction,” Cox said. “The district does not share confidential personnel and student information.”
Cox provided the Telegram with a copy of the letter that Belton High School Principal Jill Ross sent to selected parents on Oct. 15.
Although the actual arrest happened while students and staff were on Thanksgiving break, the district had not provided any additional information about Alleman’s arrest to Belton ISD parents or guardians since classes resumed.