Child pornography, several other charges filed against former teacher

(Photo Supplied)

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): A former Concord High School teacher faces multiple charges of possession of child pornography, as well as child solicitation, vicarious gratification, voyeurism, harassment, and battery.

The counts against Andrew Cowells, 47, come several weeks after he was placed on leave and the termination process began.

It was back on May 5th when Concord Community Schools administrators learned of inappropriate sexual comments Cowells had allegedly made to students.

A statement released by Concord says as the school’s investigation progressed, administrators and law enforcement officers learned that the scope of the incident went beyond just the comments.

According to court documents, a search of Cowells’ cell phone showed it to contain several pornographic images of teenage boys, though none of the children in the images are believed to be students or from the area.

Some of the details from the Probable Cause Affidavit were detailed by ABC 57. CONTENT WARNING: SOME EXPLICIT DESCRIPTIONS INCLUDED.

  • A 15-year-old male victim said on May 5, 2021, Cowells spoke about sexual topics and tried to get the victim to touch his own private area while standing on top of a chair in the classroom. Cowells stated out loud he was aroused during the discussion.
  • A second 15-year-old male victim told investigators the classroom door was shut when he arrived that morning. He said Cowells talked about sexual things and sat on a girl’s desk. Cowells told the victim to stand up so Cowells could “grind” him. When the victim refused, two girls in the class stood up and grinded each other while Cowells clapped.
  • A third 15-year-old victim said on May 5 he was in the boys restroom when Cowells entered with several students. Cowells pulled down the victim’s pants in front of everyone and told the victim to use the bathroom next to him. Victim 4 then came into the restroom and went to a stall. Cowells watched him urinate and grabbed the victim’s backside and grabbed victim 3’s hands trying to get him to touch victim 4’s backside.
  • A fourth victim, who is 16-years-old, told investigators Cowells touched him on his legs and backside, and tried to watch him urinate.
  • Several students told police Cowells sent a text message to the fifth victim, who is 15-years-old, a text message that Cowells was aroused by the victim because she likes girls, then showed the text to the class.
  • Victim 6, who is 16-years-old, said that morning Cowells made sexual comments that made him uncomfortable. He said Cowells attempted to look over the wall of the stall so he could watch the victim go to the bathroom.
  • Victim 7, who is 16-years-old, said that morning, Cowells told sexual jokes and asked if anyone had the courage to let him touch them. He then taunted the class for a volunteer. When the victim stood up, Cowells touched the victim on his body, from his shoulders to his backside.

While searching for evidence of the text messages in Cowells’ phone, investigators located what appeared to be nude photos on his phone. A search warrant for the photos was obtained.

On his phone, police located photos of boys in various stages of undress, according to the probable cause affidavit.

There were ten photos of teenage boys exposing their genitals or engaging in sexual activity, according to the probable cause affidavit.

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