Bentonville Substitute Arrested On Suspicion Of Distributing Child Pornography

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A man who worked as a substitute teacher at the Bentonville School District was arrested Thursday (Jan. 8) on suspicion of distributing, possessing or viewing child pornography, according to a probable cause report from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Jacob Ryan Howard, 32, shared dozens of images and videos of child pornography from a laptop at a residence in Bentonville in October, according to the probable cause report. The victims ranged from ten to fourteen years of age, the probable cause report states.

After executing a search warrant at Howard’s residence Jan. 5, investigators found he had uploaded the images of underage girls from CDs found in his bedroom, according to the probable cause report.

On Jan. 7 the head of security for the Bentonville School District told investigators Howard had also been issued a laptop from the district, the report states. Investigators are conducting a search of that device.

Paul Stolt, the spokesman for the Bentonville School District, said Friday (Jan. 8) that the district works with SubTeach USA to find its substitute teachers. He said the service uses the same background checks the district uses to hire its teachers. Howard has been told to have no further contact with anyone in the school district, Stolt said.

Stolt also released the following statement:

“The Benton County Sheriff’s Department informed us late Thursday afternoon that Jacob Howard, substitute teacher assigned to Bentonville High School, was taken into custody. Mr. Howard was relieved of his duties immediately after we were notified of the investigation. Bentonville School District personnel will continue to cooperate and follow the directives of the Sheriff’s Department. At this time, the Bentonville School District is unaware of any allegations against Mr. Howard that relate to the Bentonville School District or its students.”

Howard is being held at the Benton County Jail.

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