A police investigation continues into a former El Campo ISD substitute teacher who took pornographic videos of herself from a high school classroom uploading the footage to a pornographic website that the district alleges was for profit.
The ongoing investigation by the El Campo Police Department, with the suspect’s cooperation, and in cooperation with the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office has yet to determine whether any laws were broken.
After exhausting all its legal options—pressing charges, termination of employment and having ECPD issue a criminal trespass warning—the board is reaching out to its elected state officials Rep. Phil Stephenson and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst via a letter drafted by Board President James Russell.
The board unanimously approved sending the letter at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Russell said he is “frustrated and a bit surprised” after the board tried to pursue all legal avenues, but found them to be “extremely limited.”
“I suppose our lawmakers are an outlet in which we have to address matters for which there are no clear answers,” Russell told the newspaper. “We hope that our representatives will see fit to take the next step to protect unsuspecting parties such as ECISD.”
In his letter, that has the support of Police Chief Terry Stanphill and Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison, Russell wrote, “ECISD recently endured a wave of negative publicity based solely on the actions of a single individual looking to gain personal profit from the use of our facilities as a backdrop…this individual marketed their unsavory product by promoting the setting as being inside a classroom.”
Through the website’s amateur program, videos posted for free can receive a cut of ad revenues and a rate under one dollar is paid per so many views. Videos can also be sold to subscribers.
When asked by the newspaper, Stanphill said he would not discuss whether profit was a motive since it is still under investigation.
Going on the premise that the incident was for profit, Russell went on to say in the letter that the widespread media coverage “tarnished” the district’s reputation and the district suffered “national embarrassment.”
“ECISD wished to pursue the individual to the full extent of the law. However, to the dismay of ECISD, ECPD and the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office, we found that the individual who had caused so much harm to ECISD had actually broken no laws. We collectively believe that this is simply not right,” he wrote.
In the letter, Russell urges both Stephenson and Kolkhorst to lead the way to prevent individuals seeking personal profit from using the backdrop/setting of “unsuspecting, innocent” institutions/organizations/businesses as a means of promoting their businesses.
“Perhaps it is a case where the laws have not caught up with the times,” Russell said.