A shocking incident has come to light as Irving Perez, a 33-year-old Pre-K teacher employed at Wayside Schools in Austin, was arrested on Monday night for possession of child pornography, according to official records from Travis County. The arrest was carried out by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Wayside Schools promptly confirmed the arrest, clarifying that it occurred offsite. The school took immediate action to inform parents in the affected classroom about the situation. Concerned about the safety of their students, the school administration sought additional information from DPS but was unable to obtain further details. In response, Wayside Leadership swiftly escorted Perez off campus and placed him on administrative leave.
According to the arrest affidavit, the investigation stemmed from the flagging of an Instagram account in July 2022, which was subsequently reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A cyber tip was then forwarded to the appropriate authorities. With the assistance of the DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, investigators successfully linked Perez to the flagged account after thoroughly examining the case files.
The arrest affidavit revealed that Perez had sent a video file containing child pornography to another user on Instagram. A search warrant was obtained for Perez’s Instagram account, leading investigators to discover additional evidence of his involvement in obtaining child pornography materials in October 2022.
Travis County jail records indicate that as of Wednesday, Perez remains in custody, facing charges of possession of child pornography. His bond has been set at $20,000.
Wayside Schools emphasized that this is an active investigation and stated, “DPS has shared very little with us at this time but has stressed that this incident did not occur at our school and does not involve any students at our school.” It should be noted that Perez is no longer employed at the school.
In a separate article related to the case, it was revealed that Perez, while still working as a teacher for 4-year-olds at Wayside REAL Learning Academy located in South Austin, was charged with possession or promotion of child pornography. The charge, a third-degree felony, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
According to the affidavit, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s criminal investigations unit received a tip in July 2022 regarding a video containing child pornography shared on Instagram by Perez. The video depicted a nude girl between the ages of 6 and 10 engaged in a sexual act with a man. Instagram reported Perez’s account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as required by federal law. A search warrant was obtained to verify that the Instagram account belonged to Perez.
The investigation revealed that Perez opened the Instagram account in January 2022 and closed it in October 2022. Evidence from other messages on Instagram also indicated that Perez had paid to receive the pornographic video.
Wayside Schools reiterated that the DPS investigation did not involve any students or individuals associated with the school and that there was no threat toward their scholars.
This grave offense has serious legal consequences, and possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony that can result in significant imprisonment. The case against Perez will continue to unfold as authorities gather more evidence and proceed with legal proceedings.
Case Number: D-1-DC-23-301426