Kokomo School Corporation officials say an Elwood Haynes Elementary School kindergarten teacher has been placed on leave following his arrest Friday for possession of child pornography.
Brian Lee Jakes, 49, is now facing four Level 4 felony counts of child exploitation and nine Level 5 felony counts of possession of child pornography for his role in the investigation that began in February.
In a statement written by KSC and emailed to the Tribune on Saturday afternoon, Director of Communications Dave Barnes noted that school officials are cooperating with law enforcement concerning the investigation into Jakes, though the statement never mentions the defendant directly by name.
“No further comment or information can be provided by Kokomo School Corporation officials since this is an active investigation and a personnel matter,” the release stated in part. “Kokomo School Corporation officials encourage anyone with additional information concerning this situation to contact the Kokomo Police Department.”
The news of Jakes’ arrest caused a firestorm across social media on Friday, with many concerned parents admitting that they were never notified by school officials of the investigation or that Jakes was even at the center of it in the first place.
“This is my son’s teacher, and I’m floored that I only (saw) this because a fellow student’s mother in another class shared this (Tribune article) with me,” one mother commented on the Tribune’s Facebook page. “I’m absolutely sick to my stomach right now and have no clue what to do.”
Another concerned parent called herself “livid,” stating that she wished the investigation surrounding Jakes would have been publicly addressed by school officials before Friday.
Jakes’ charges stem from a joint investigation that began back in February between local law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a KPD media release on Friday afternoon indicated.
On April 13, investigators obtained a search warrant for Jakes’ residence in the 1300 block of Arundel Drive, and police noted in the release that they seized several digital devices during that search.
However, investigators stated that they do not believe any of the photos or videos seized by authorities contained any local children, the release stated.
On April 14, Jakes was reported to police as a missing person but was eventually located on a farm near 1200 West and 100 South.
At some point, Jakes had sustained self-inflicted injuries and was transported to an Indianapolis hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
He was officially arrested after being medically released sometime on Friday and is currently being held on $20,000 cash bond at the Howard County Jail.
His next hearing is scheduled for later this month in Howard Superior Court 4.
If you have any further information regarding this case, you are urged to contact Detective Austin Bailey at 765-456-7280 or via email at email@example.com.
You can also contact the KPD Hotline at 765-456-7017 or Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS.