LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A former Lubbock-Cooper ISD teacher is in the Lubbock County Detention Center charged with possession of child pornography.
In late February, the Lubbock Texas Anti-Gang Center began an investigation into 36-year-old Cody Taylor, a 5th grade teacher at Lubbock-Cooper North Elementary.
Taylor is not a known gang member; however, due to TAG’s resources with local law enforcement agencies and federal partners, TAG was tasked with investigating the possible criminal allegations made against Taylor.
Based on the investigation and the execution of a search warrant on his home, TAG investigators presented the case to the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office.
On March 11, an arrest warrant for Taylor was issued for possession of child pornography.
According to the arrest warrant, Taylor is accused of taking inappropriate photographs of juveniles with his cell phone while employed as a teacher at Lubbock-Cooper North Elementary. There were multiple claims Taylor had been calling female students to a “work desk” in the classroom and instructing them to work on iPads. Once the females were sitting, he is accused of using his cell phone to take photos of their vaginal and buttocks area. Statements from 10 students were taken by the principal. When the female students began talking about the incidents, the warrant says they were crying and visibly shaking.
One of the students took a photo of Taylor in the act and showed school officials.
When Taylor was confronted by the principal, the arrest warrant says he became nervous and agitated and said he really needed to go to the restroom. He wouldn’t provide his cell phone but the warrant says he immediately took it out and started looking at it in a panicked manner. The principal again requested his cell phone, he refused. An officer standing in the doorway of the principal’s office said she saw Taylor deleting photographs from his phone.
One statement in the arrest warrant said Taylor placed his phone under the work desk table where some female juveniles were sitting when he told one girl to “fix her body,” which the student thought meant to sit properly in her chair. The witness said Taylor began grunting and had his phone facing the student and other female student under the table.
The arrest warrant also says Taylor admitted to taking approximately a dozen inappropriate photographs of juvenile female students on accident. He said he had known about the photographs on his phone for about two weeks. He then said he did not know how his phone worked and he was accidentally taking the photographs.
Homeland Security Investigations took Taylor’s personal cell phone, along with his school-issued iPad and Macbook. Detectives removed electronic devices and firearms from the residence.
A search of the phone revealed a deleted video clip showing the crotch area of a juvenile female in clothing that matched what a student was wearing on the date of the accusations, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.
Taylor admitted to officers he had viewed child pornography in the past, when “he was a kid,” which is when he was 25 years old.
Taylor turned himself in to TAG investigators at 8 a.m. on March 14th and is currently in the Lubbock County Detention Center.
As of Feb. 22, Taylor was no longer employed with Lubbock-Cooper ISD.
More charges against Taylor are possible as the investigation continues.
The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, Lubbock Police Department, Lubbock-Cooper ISD Police Department, Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are assisting with this investigation.
Lubbock-Cooper ISD released this statement:
Student safety and well-being is the utmost priority of Lubbock-Cooper ISD. As soon as campus administrators were made aware of potentially inappropriate behavior exhibited by this employee, the employee was removed from the classroom and was not permitted any further contact with Lubbock-Cooper ISD students. The district immediately contacted law enforcement officials and cooperated fully in the investigative process, which began the same day. This employee resigned on Friday, February 22, during the investigation.