Texas middle school band teacher accused of secretly recording students

Texas middle school band teacher accused of secretly recording students
Tyler Townsend, an assistant band director at a Texas middle school, was charged with 10 counts of invasive recording and 10 counts of possession or promotion of child pornography. (Hays County Jail)

KYLE, Texas — A Texas assistant middle school band director is accused of taking secret, inappropriate videos and photographs of students, authorities said.

Tyler Dan Townsend, 30, of Buda, was arrested Thursday and charged with 10 felony counts of possession or promotion of child pornography and 10 felony counts of invasive visual recordings, according to Hays County court records.

Townsend, who teaches at Dahlstrom Middle School in Buda, allegedly used a cellphone to record videos and take photographs, KVUE reported.

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The Kyle Police Department served Townsend with a search warrant during a child pornography investigation, the Hays Free Press reported. Several electronic devices were seized from Townsend’s home, and police said that invasive visual recordings of several students -- who did not know they were being recorded -- were on his cellphone, the newspaper reported.

Officials from the Hays Consolidated Independent School District placed Townsend on administrative leave July 27, KEYE reported. Townsend resigned his position four days later, the television station reported.

“During the course of the police investigation, law enforcement notified Hays CISD that invasive, but not pornographic, photos of unknowing female students, possibly while in school at Dahlstrom, were discovered on Townsend’s cell phone,” the school district said in a statement. “Police are working to identify the possible victims of these invasive photographs and will notify parents and students directly.

Townsend’s duties at Dahlstrom Middle School included directing the campus symphonic and jazz bands and the percussion program, KVUE reported. Townsend also assisted with the Hays High School marching band program. Townsend was hired by the Hays CISD in 2015.

“Child pornography is not a victimless crime and we are dedicated to working this case with the utmost diligence and are leaving no stone unturned,” Kyle police Chief Jeff Barnett told the Free Press.