Ex-New Orleans teacher booked with possession of child pornography; authorities search for possible victims
Don Francis, a former New Orleans teacher, was booked with 22 counts of having pornography involving juveniles.
(Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office)
State and local law enforcement agencies are investigating a former New Orleans
teacher found with " a plethora" of child pornography in his Metairie
home, according to authorities. The state attorney general's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
and other agencies are probing whether Don Francis, 42, had any
inappropriate sexual contact with children, an arrest report said.
Francis, who worked as a teacher at Miller-McCoy Academy and Arthur Ashe Charter School,
both in New Orleans, admitted to being attracted to male children
during questioning with investigators, the report said. He expressed an
interest in adopting a child and had applied to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused children in New Orleans.
never completed the training, according to CASA New Orleans Executive
Director Joy Bruce. "He was never in contact with any of our kids," she
The case was by the internet crimes task force
with assistance from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, said Steven
Hartmann, spokesman for the state attorney general's office. "It originated after we received a tip from the San Diego ICAC," he said.
arrested Francis on Wednesday (Feb. 5) after serving a search warrant
at his apartment, 3501 Apollo Drive, Metairie. They seized computers,
CDs and other computer-related devices and conducted a forensic preview.
found several images and videos of children -- newborns to preteens -
being raped or put in other sexually explicit poses. Francis told
investigators he used the images for masturbation, the report said.
disturbing were indications noted by investigators that Francis may
have had inappropriate contact with youngsters. Investigators searching
his apartment found "sexually explicit drawings" made by children and
given to Francis, according to the report. The drawings included sex
Francis told investigators he has worked as a teacher but is
currently unemployed. Representatives from Miller-McCoy, 7301 Dwyer
Road, New Orleans, and Arthur Ashe, 1456 Gardenia Drive, New Orleans,
confirmed that he taught at their schools.
business manager at Miller-McCoy, said Francis worked at the school for
18 months before resigning in December 2012. He said he could not
provide any other information about Francis. Mitchell was not aware of
the investigation against Francis.
Francis' LinkedIn profile indicates he taught reading, social studies and science to fifth, sixth and eighth graders.
Ashe Spokeswoman Rebekah Cain said on Francis was a short-term employee
at the school. He taught third and fourth-grade English language arts
at the school from January to July of 2013.
wasn't renewed, but she was not allowed to reveal why. "We did not have
any complaints of inappropriate behavior," she said. Cain said Arthur
Ashe, which is operated by FirstLine Schools, does conduct background
Francis also signed up to become a volunteer for CASA New
Orleans. Advocates are matched with an abused or neglected child placed
in foster care by the Orleans Parish court system, according to Bruce.
Advocates fight for the child's rights and mentor them.
not foster parents," she said. "They are often the only stable adult
presence during a tumultuous time in a child's life."
are trained and thoroughly screened before they are matched with
children. Francis had not yet completed his training, according to
Bruce. "He was still relatively early in the (36-hour training) process.
We hadn't even run background checks yet."
investigators notified CASA about the case Wednesday, according to
Bruce, who was grateful for the heads up. "He was trying to gain access
to children through our organization," she said.
whether Francis attempted to join any similar groups that would provide
regular contact with children. But according to the arrest report,
investigators suspect "there may likely be live victims with whom the
arrested subject has had contact with."
Francis was booked
Wednesday into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. He
was still being held there Thursday on a $220,000 bond.