LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury agreed with an allegation that a former Lufkin school counselor tried to have an improper relationship with a student.
John Wesley Carter, 43, who worked as a counselor at Pineywoods academy, was already charged with two counts of state-jail felony attempted possession of child pornography. That came in the investigation, which began when a parent recorded a conversation between her daughter and Carter, which police say had suggested inappropriate comments.
Now, the grand jury has also indicted Carter on the allegation of the relationship as well. His new bail was set at $10,000, which includes the felony attempted improper relationship with a child charge.
While investigating those allegations, police searched Carter's laptop and reporting finding he had searched for numerous child porn sites.
Carter was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Nov. 26, 2013. The Angelina County Jail Website listed the offense date as Pct. 15, 2013.
Carter resigned from the Pineywoods Community Academy in October 2013. According to the arrest affidavit, the student in question was less than 10 years old.
Administrators at the Pineywoods Community Academy placed Carter on a paid suspension. School director Bruce Marchand sent a letter out to parents stating that Carter was being placed on suspension because he was being investigated by the school and the Lufkin Police Department.
According to a previous East Texas News story, Det. J.B. Smith, a spokesman for the Lufkin Police Department, said that the comments were "suggestive, not explicit."
"He has been cooperating with officers," Smith said. "He gave access to the residence and his office and computers and such."
Smith said a conversation between the child and the employee was recorded and investigators are working to validate the recording.
"Their initial findings indicate that the recording is of a conversation between the student and employee," Smith said.
During interviews with LPD detectives, Carter allegedly revealed that he had been having sexual thoughts about young girls because of the way they had opened up emotionally to him while he was working as a counselor for the Pineywoods Community Academy.
Carter gave the LPD detectives consent to search his residence. Two laptops, an iPod, and an SD card were taken into custody. All of the electronic media devices were analyzed forensically using programs specifically designed and written for the forensic recovery of data. Most of that portion of the investigation focused on the Dell laptop that Carter said he used primarily.
"An index search, using the term child porn produced numerous results," the affidavit stated.
The arrest affidavit went into exhaustive detail about the Web links found in the search
"Based on the analysis conducted by [the LPD detective] and his knowledge, training, and experience in investigating child pornography cases, the number and nature of the hit returns are consistent with an active search for child pornography being conducted on this computer," the affidavit stated.
According to the 14-page arrest affidavit, Carter said this victim was so affectionate that it made him think about sex even more and let it get out of hand. He said this type of conversation had taken place a couple times prior to the recorded conversation. He said he wanted to see what he could say to see how the girl would react.
According to the affidavit, Carter admitted that he taught the girl the hand signal for "to kiss" so that she would not kiss him on the cheek anymore. He also said he had kissed her on the cheek.
The detective asked Carter about the possibility of him having looked at inappropriate material on his computer and he said he had looked at pornography, according to the affidavit. He also said he had probably come across child pornography.
Carter also said he was seeking a response from the girl which made him feel desired or wanted sexually, according to the affidavit.
Following the police interview, Carter allowed detectives access to his computer.
Other indictments handed down by the Angelina County grand jury include:
- Demario Jeniod Hill, 25, of Lufkin, for aggravated assault. Lufkin police arrested Hill in April following an investigation into an incident on Jan. 30. According to an arrest affidavit, Hill walked up to a man and began hitting him with a tire iron. He is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.
- Janna Johnson, 39, of Huntington. Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office arrested Johnson in January, after a homeowner reported that Johnson threw a party at his house and inappropriately touched a 15-year-old boy. She is still in the Angelina County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
- Brian Elray Garrett, 35, of Lufkin, for continuous sexual abuse of a child: Garrett was initially arrested in March on three counts of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Two girls, aged 9 and 10, told counselors Garrett had sexually assaulted them on multiple occasions since the beginning of the year. He is being held on a $200,000 bail.
- Belinda Bryan, 23, of Lufkin, on a charge of child endangerment: Angelina County deputies arrested Bryan in April after she allegedly left her three-year-old child home alone, with the door unlocked. She is out of jail on a $2,500 bond.