Meadow Lane Elementary Parents Outraged Over Alleged Inappropriate Photo Taken By CHP Officer
Court documents outlining an investigation on a Northstate Highway Patrol Officer have left some Anderson parents outraged.
45 year old Gerald "Gary" Harris pleded not guilty Monday morning to two felony counts of possessing child porn, one felony for unauthorized use of a computer, one misdemeanor count for annoying a child and two special allegations.
He's already pleaded not guilty to possessing assault weapons, explosives, a controlled substance, and embezzlement.
Parents have been calling CHP since this story broke, complaining that Harris was at Meadow Lane Elementary School in Anderson almost every day and was always taking pictures of the students.
The investigation was launched in January when Harris had to have his work laptop fixed. Another officer tried to fix it and reportedly found porn.
The report from CHP investigators says they found numerous flash drives and computer discs during their investigation at his Anderson home.
On one flash drive was photo of a former student in his wife's second grade class at Meadow Lane. The camera was focused on her private parts and was date stamped September 2010. Investigators tracked the identity of the student and found she now lives in Roseville. The student said she remembered Harris being in the classroom everyday "after lunch and would leave shortly before school let out."
Investigators found a second flash drive at Harris' home. It contained more than 100 pictures of child erotica and nudity that were evidence in another CHP case.
The report also mentioned an incident from several years ago when pornography was found on the computer in Mrs. Harris' classroom. The school's computer technician asked Mrs. Harris about it. She said she didn't know where it came from, but, according to the report, speculated it may have come from her husband. The tech reported the incident to the school's Superintendent.
Parents told me Tuesday afternoon that Harris was always on campus; going on every field trip and helping in the classrooms.
"I am disgusted. I'm outraged. I want to know why we were not notified. From what I understand, [Mrs. Harris] is returning to school this next school year. I don't want my children around her. I don't even think I want my children at this school because they're not protecting our children," Meadow Lane Elementary parent Misti Hernandez tells us.
Another parent, Michelle Rushing said "I'm irate about the whole situation. I think the whole thing is disgusting and that he never should've been allowed in the classroom. I don't feel safe having my kids go here. My oldest has been moved out of the school already and I'm thinking about pulling my youngest."
The report also says one parent that called CHP told investigators that her daughter attended an after school program at Meadow Lane. The parent said on several occasions, instead of her daughter being in the after school program building, she would be in Mrs. Harris' classroom. According to the report, there were times that she was even found alone with Gary Harris while Mrs. Harris was making copies. One particular time, the parent said her daughter was found on Harris' lap with another female child and nobody else in the classroom.
We reached out to the current Superintendent, Harley North, several times. He didn't call us back, but did email this statement:"the Cascade Union Elementary School District is very concerned about the charges levied against Mr. Harris and his connection with our students. We have cooperated with law enforcement regarding
this case from the beginning of this investigation and continue to cooperate as requested."
Monday morning, a judge granted the prosecution's request that Harris have no contact with anyone under 18, with the exception of family members.
Harris is scheduled to be back in court on September 4th.
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