A former security guard at a Houston ISD charter school is accused of creeping on boys in bathroom stalls after an 11-year-old came forward, prompting investigators to confiscate the man's phone.
And based on what investigators found, Yandry Jimenez Rivero, a 20-year-old Cuban national who worked for a private security contractor, has been charged with improper photography/visual recording, a state jail felony.
Rivero was a security guard at Energized for Excellence Academy, an HISD middle school. On June 19, an 11-year-old boy told his teacher that while he was going to the bathroom, he looked up to find a cell phone staring down at him — someone was holding it over the stall. The boy immediately left — but through the crack of the stall next to him, he could see a gold badge against a black uniform and black boots on the ground, said Harris County District Attorney's Office prosecutor Patrick Stayton.
The school principal contacted Rivero's supervisor, and together they viewed video surveillance showing Rivero being the only security officer going in and out of that restroom around the same time the boy reported, Stayton said. When confronting Rivero, Rivero handed over his cellphone. On it, the principal and supervisors found a number of photos and videos of young boys in bathroom stalls. Rivero admitted to them that they were students.
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The Houston Police Department arrived and arrested Rivero; he is now free on $1,500 bond.
"When parents send their children to school, they certainly have a right to expect that their children would be safe there," Stayton said, "particularly from those that are charged with the responsibility of keeping them safe. The fact that this involves a suspect who had that charge, it can't be more serious than that."
Stayton said prosecutors are still investigating Rivero and charges can be upgraded if other types of child pornography are found.
In a statement, HISD said that it terminated the entire security company contracted with Energized for Excellence, and notified all parents of the incident in a letter and phone message on Tuesday.