Peyton Harris, a former substitute teacher and track coach in Pennsylvania, has admitted to guilt in charges of child pornography possession and furnishing alcohol to minors, according to a statement from the state Attorney General’s office.
Harris, who was a substitute teacher at Juniata and Newport high schools and assistant track coach at Juniata, was accused of hosting a party at his home, furnishing alcohol to minors using a false ID, as well as taking photos and videos of minors engaged in sexual activity.
The criminal complaint states that there was at least one recording that showed a person in a state of nudity in a place where they would expect privacy. The authorities were informed of the alleged crimes on April 25, 2022, by a student at Juniata High School, who reported that he had been in a sexual relationship with Harris. The student also told the police that Harris had multiple nude photos and videos of him and that Harris had recorded him having sexual intercourse with a female without either party’s consent.
Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry said in a statement, “Peyton Harris violated the trust of students and parents in the community by exploiting minors and putting them at risk. The guilty plea serves as a reminder that efforts will continue to safeguard youth and hold those who harm them accountable. Some of the images were transmitted on Snapchat, according to the complaint.
Harris is scheduled to appear for his sentencing hearing in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas on May 16. The guilty plea and the severity of the charges make it likely that Harris will face significant prison time.
This incident serves as a reminder of the need to closely observe the actions of adults working with children and to swiftly take action against anyone who has betrayed the trust placed in them. It also serves as a warning to parents to be vigilant and to talk to their children about the dangers of sharing intimate images and information with anyone, even people they know and trust.
The state attorney general’s office said that they will continue to work tirelessly to protect young people and hold those accountable who harm them. The revelation of Harris’s actions has caused shock and disappointment in the community, leading to calls for more thorough background checks and closer monitoring of individuals who work with children.