Central Texas high school student arrested for child pornography

Central Texas high school student arrested for child pornography
Posted at 1:26 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:08-04

A Crawford high school student was arrested on Monday for four counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of sexual assault of a child.

The 17-year-old student, Donnie Howard, who is a junior at Crawford, is accused of raping an 8-year-old boy and forcing him to perform other lewd sexual acts. According to a complaint, Howard admitted to the crimes and to sending videos of both incidents to someone he was chatting with on the app KIK.

The 8-year-old victim reportedly described to the Waco Advocacy Center how Howard came into the bathroom without clothes and trapped him in a corner. Howard is accused of sexually assaulting the child while he was screaming and crying, according to the complaint. When people outside the door asked what happened, Howard allegedly responded the child had leg cramps.

Howard is also accused of taking lewd photos of a 6-year-old girl. He forced the girl to pose and later sent those pictures to someone he was chatting on the KIK app, according to the complaint.

The incidents took place between March and the middle of April. 

Crawford Police Chief Clayton Bruton said this type of case is unusual in Crawford.

"Something like this with the ages," said Bruton. "This is going to be the first case we have with this young group."

Bruton has an advice for parents regarding their children's use of electronic media.

"We as parents need to stay very vigilant of what our children are doing as far as this electronic media whether it would be KIK, Snapchat, Facebook and even down to video games," said Bruton. 

On April 20, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was notified of the allegations of sexual abuse. On April 22, Bruton sat in during an interview CPS conducted with Howard. Six days later, Bruton met with Howard at Crawford High School who waived his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed.

According to the complaint, Howard admitted to the crimes and mentioned one of the instances with the 8-year-old boy took place at the washer area at the Tonkawa Falls Park.The child said during a forensic interview, Howard threatened to hit him, if he told anyone what happened.

Howard is currently held in the McLennan County jail on bonds totaling $1.25 million. If he posts bond, he can't have contact with the victims per the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Crawford Police is currently investigating who Howard sent the videos and photos to via KIK. Bruton said more charges could be filed in connection to this case. 

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