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Press Release

Former Alvin Art Teacher Sentenced on Child Pornography Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A former teacher who was employed with the Alvin School District has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Scott Burns, of Alvin, 46, pleaded guilty May 18, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes sentenced Burns to 97 months incarceration followed by 12 years of supervised release. Burns will also be required to register as a sex offender.

The investigation arose after an abandoned briefcase was turned over to the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office that was found to contain child pornography. Authorities believed it was part of an active investigation involving Burns and forwarded it to Homeland Security Investigations. Compact discs recovered from the abandoned briefcase contained 598 images and two videos of child pornography, along with personal and family photos.

Burns had previously been identified as a person of interest during an online undercover investigation in which he solicited nude and hardcore images of minors aged 12-17 via, a photo-sharing website.

A search warrant executed on his home in March 2014 led to the discovery of various electronic media which were found to contain 418 images and 15 videos of child pornography, including pictures of prepubescent minors, acts of sadism, masochism, bestiality and/or bondage. During an interview of Burns the following day, he claimed that used the Internet to locate child pornography, but that he did so in order to report it to website administrators.

Burns also possessed pictures of former students, which he had posted onto his Flickr account. Burns admitted that he kept in touch with former students for artistic purposes.

Burns will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges against Burns are the result of the investigative efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, Alvin Police Department and the Alvin Independent School District Police Department. 

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Wirsing, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated December 21, 2015

Project Safe Childhood