Teacher tried for pedophilia, inappropriate Zoom private meetings with minors



Santa Clara County Superior Court sentenced a 20-year-old teacher in Los Gatos to 35 years in prison for sexual acts against minors, including making inappropriate private Zoom calls with children, according to the county sheriff’s office of Santa Clara.

A 13-year-old boy reported to law enforcement that he felt uncomfortable during a zoom call with Los Gatos Youth Theater director Joseph Houg, 50, on May 14, 2020. According to the victim, Houg asked the boy on a private call if he could show her his abdominal muscles, and after a series of attempts to change the subject, the boy finally gave in to her requests.

Another 13-year-old boy introduced himself and said Houg asked to see his underwear during a private zoom call, police said.

A third victim later came forward during the investigation to say that Houg had inappropriately touched him while in 5th grade in 2008, police records show.

In addition to her role in the Youth Theater, Houg is also a Grade 5 teacher at Blossom Hill Elementary School.

Detectives conducted a search warrant at Houg’s home and found several stored recordings of his class doing yoga stretches, videos of boys changing, and videos and photos of minors in their underwear.

Police arrested Houg in San Jose on September 3 and was later taken to the Santa Clara County Marin Jail on $ 100,000 bond.

The court found Houg guilty of felony charges of obscene acts with a minor under 14, and of annoying and assaulting a minor under 14.

Anyone who may have had inappropriate contact with Houg can contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4500.


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