Parents shocked after Los Banos Elementary teacher accused of possessing child pornography

EMBED </>More Videos

Police arrested Ernesto Cortez after serving a search warrant at his home. They say at least one image was found on a personal electronic device but can't say if the minor in the photo is from the area. (KFSN)

"It's horrible because you trust the school, and that your kids are going to be safe," parent Rose Leyva said. "When you hear this, it makes you wonder what's going on."

With just a couple of days into a new school year, a Los Banos Elementary teacher has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Police arrested Ernesto Cortez after serving a search warrant at his home. They say at least one image was found on a personal electronic device but can't say if the minor in the photo is from the area.

"That's a concern of everyone, that's a concern of mine, but we have not determined whether or not any of the images that were seen or found on the device belong to anyone locally," Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizee said.

Cortez was a first grade teacher at the Los Banos Elementary School. He's a long time employee with the school district and has been with them for 28 years.

Parents say they were shocked when they heard of the arrest. Elizabeth Villanueva says while her own children never had Cortez as a teacher, that didn't stop her from questioning her kids.

"That's when I asked her, 'Hey did he do anything, did he every try to do anything, she said no he was a nice guy," she said.

The superintendent of the school district did not want to go on camera, but sent us this statement saying "The Los Banos Unified School District is cooperating with authorities on this matter as students safety remains a priority and adds that "school counselors and licensed psychologists will be available to students and staff."

Cortez is on paid administrative leave. He's also been asked to stay away from schools and cut communication with parents while police continue to investigate.

Related Topics:
child pornographymerced countyLos Banos
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments