PALMVIEW, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Palmview High School teacher was arrested December 16 on accusations he solicited over 50 minors for nude photos and videos in a span of three years, according to Homeland Security Investigations.
Juan Carlos Munoz, 41, was taken into custody by U.S. Homeland Security days after the agency received an investigative referral from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, regarding information from investigators in the York County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina, according to detail in a federal criminal complaint obtained by ValleyCentral.
The York County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 14-year-old “sent nude images to a man in Texas claiming to be a 19-year-old adult male. The sheriff’s office investigated and completed a series of reports.
A mobile telephone led authorities to Munoz, authorities said in the complaint.
Federal investigators contacted Munoz on Dec. 16 at Palmview High School in Palmview, where he has been employed as a special education teacher for 14 years, authorities said in the complaint.
Munoz was escorted to the La Joya ISD’s police department for questioning.
“In a post-Miranda interview, Munoz admitted to soliciting [the teen] for sexually explicit images and videos via several online media applications,” the criminal complaint states. “Munoz stated that he believed [the teen] to be 11 to 12 years of age.”
According to the federal complaint, Munoz told HSI he solicited more than 50 minors over the past three years over the internet, asking for nude videos and photos.
Investigators also detailed in the complaint that Munoz would commit sexual acts on himself “over video chat while directing the children to perform sexually explicit acts.”
“Coercing and enticing [the teen] to send sexually explicit images through the use of online social media, would constitute receipt of child pornography, which is a violation of 18 United States Code Section 2252A(a)(2)(A),” the complaint states.
On Monday, La Joya ISD posted a statement to the public and media regarding the federal investigation and arrest.
The following is an official statement from La Joya ISD:
“We are aware that former teacher from Palmview has been arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We have been informed that this investigation does not involve La Joya ISD,” the release from La Joya ISD stated. “We will continue to monitor the progress of this investigation. The safety of our students and staff continues to be our number one priority as we provide Educational Excellence for all.”