PASADENA, Texas — A Pasadena ISD substitute teacher accused of touching two fourth grade students appeared in a Harris County courtroom Tuesday night. His bond has been set at a total of $300,000.
Joshua Lewis, 24, is charged with improper relationship with a student and two counts of indecency with a child. He was taken into custody Tuesday following an investigation and allegations made against him on Oct. 5.
Both victims are 9-year-old students at Jessup Elementary.
The girls reported their alleged encounters with Lewis during lunchtime to a teacher who brought the allegations to the principal’s attention, Pasadena ISD Police Department said. The students claim the teacher would call them to the front of the class, where he would touch them inappropriately above and underneath their clothes.
One victim told CPS investigators the teacher “acted like he had a crush on the girls,” according to court documents.
When confronted by police, Lewis reportedly denied making inappropriate contact with the student but admitted to touching their legs, atop their heads and giving them side huge. He also told investigators he comes from a “touch feely family” and his father had warned him about his behavior, court documents said.
In court, prosecutors said an additional 10 students have come forward with claims Lewis touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. Investigators described his actions involving those children as grooming behavior but not warranting criminal charges.
Lewis— who is a Highlands, Texas resident— has worked at the school for the past year.
The judge granted prosecutor’s request for a $100,000 bond for each offense.
“I’m not saying the allegations are true— I’m not saying they’re not true,” the judge said. “I’m saying that’s all I have to go on at this point. And based on what I have to go on at this point, I think a $100 is appropriate. Keeping in mind that one of the things I have to do is that public safety is taken care of.”
Pasadena ISD administrators released the following statement:
“As Pasadena ISD promised to keep you apprised of the Pasadena ISD Police Department investigation into alleged misconduct by a substitute teacher at Jessup Elementary, we are providing the following update. After a thorough investigation, the Pasadena ISD Police Department has presented this case to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and secured an arrest warrant. This afternoon Joshua Lewis was arrested on charges of indecency with a child and improper relationship between an educator and a student. Prior to the October 5, 2018 allegations, Pasadena ISD had not received any complaints regarding this individual. The former substitute worked for Pasadena ISD from March of 2017 to October of 2018 and served at least one day on 47 of Pasadena ISD’s campuses. The District will provide parents with notice and additional information about the individual’s presence on their child’s campus. We ask that parents continue to remind their children to report anything that seems unusual or makes them feel uncomfortable. If anyone has additional information regarding this case, please report it to Pasadena ISD Police at 713-740-0200 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Pasadena ISD police at 713-740-0200.