Court documents released this week in the case against an Elwood Haynes Elementary School kindergarten teacher accused of possession of child pornography appear to paint the picture of a man who viewed sexually explicit photos of children even younger than the students he taught.
Brian Lee Jakes, 49, is currently facing four Level 4 felony charges of child exploitation and 10 Level 5 felony counts of possession of child pornography — up one from his original arrest last week, according to a probable cause affidavit filed through the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office.
A release sent out last weekend by Kokomo School Corporation officials noted that Jakes has since been put on leave, and his name has also been removed from Elwood Haynes’ website.
Jakes’ charges stem from an investigation that began back in February after detectives with the Kokomo Police Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Per the affidavit, the tip was generated by the instant messaging app Kik and included one attached video depicting a pre-pubescent female involved in sexual relations with an adult male.
The same tip also noted that the Kik account — which was eventually traced to Jakes’ residence — had allegedly uploaded 12 videos of sexual abuse material and child pornography to a chat group on the app’s platform.
As part of the investigation, Det. Michael Sewall of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin — which was working alongside KPD and the FBI — reportedly conducted an undercover operation in which he attempted to gain access to the chat group, court documents indicated.
After successfully doing so, the account allegedly used by Jakes then sent out pictures and videos of child pornography, several of which appeared to depict children as young as 4 years old engaged in sexually explicit acts.
On April 13, authorities conducted a search of Jakes’ residence in the 1300 block of Arundel Drive, seizing several electronic devices, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit also noted that Jakes was not home at the time of the search, prompting police to drive to Elwood Haynes to make initial contact.
Police then followed Jakes back to his residence, court documents indicated, where they sat him down for an interview.
“Brian looked incredibly nervous and reluctantly agreed to speak with us,” KPD Detective Austin Bailey noted in the affidavit. “ … When we presented Brian with an Advice of Rights form, I could see his face turn very pale. Brian then stated, ‘I think I’m going to need a lawyer.’”
The next day — April 14 — Jakes’ wife went to the station to provide a statement to the police.
Crying and visibly upset, she told police that she woke up that morning, court documents noted, but Jakes was not in the bed next to her.
Jakes went upstairs a few minutes later but appeared pale, his wife told authorities, and it was at that time that Jakes confessed to possessing child pornography.
He then told her it all began when he uploaded nude pictures of her to Kik in an attempt to find someone to have sex with her, court records stated.
“He explained (to his wife) that he began sharing images of her with other users on Kik, and that someone else began sharing images with him,” Bailey said in the affidavit. “He said he knew the images he was receiving were of a young person. He then said, ‘I’m a monster.’”
“She said Brian said he was sorry,” Bailey continued. “She told him to get out of her house. She said at some point Brian said, ‘You just weren’t enough.’”
Jakes also told his wife — who has since filed for divorce — that he was going to go to the police to confess his role in the investigation, but he ended up going missing instead, court records noted.
Police located him on April 15 at a farm property in rural Howard County, where he had apparently slit his wrists and wrote “I’m sorry” in blood on one of his vehicle’s windows.
Authorities also located a noose they believe Jakes hung over one of the rafters inside a nearby barn, the affidavit stated, though investigators do not believe that Jakes attempted to use it.
Jakes is currently being held at the Howard County Jail on $20,000 cash bond, and his initial hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday inside Howard County Superior 4.