Woman charged with child porn was preschool teacher

The woman accused in a child pornography case taught at an Austintown preschool for 12 years.
The woman accused in a child pornography case taught at an Austintown preschool for 12 years.

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Watch the video above to see a raw interview with the preschool director.

An Austintown woman facing several sex charges in connection with a child pornography case out of Niles involving a man many people know as Santa is known by many as a preschool teacher.

The child porn case in Niles of William Brock, 65, who told neighborhood children he was Santa Claus, led investigators to Connie Ramirez, 43. Officials say some of the evidence recovered was disturbing, and a cell phone with pictures of juvenile females and Ramirez was found.

“There are allegations of child pornography, beastiality and other things that have been surfacing through that investigation,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman, who also is the lead Trumbull County prosecutor in the child sex crimes unit.

After Ramirez’s arrest was reported, our station received several emails from concerned parents who said Ramierez was a teacher at the TLCC Preschool and Day Care on Idlewood Road in Austintown. Sarah Coudriet’s 3-year-old daughter, Shayna, attends the preschool.

“My first reaction was the safety of my child and that my greatest fears were coming true,” Coudriet said.

Ramirez worked at the preschool for about 12 years. The school’s director and employees said they were shocked to learn about her double life.

“It absolutely floored me. I would never have suspected a thing. A model employee, came to work, great with the children, parents loved her,” TLCC Preschool Director Norma Johnson said.

Johnson is alerting parents and promises that Ramirez was never alone with a child at any time. And school policy does not allow pictures  to be taken inside the classroom by anyone.

Johnson said after 33 years, she hopes parents can trust their children are safe at the school.

“Thank the good Lord that a lot of our parents are sticking behind us. They know me, they know this center, they know that my staff is a kind, loving staff and we put safety first. This has tainted all of us,” Johnson said.

Ramirez is being held on $500,000 bond. She is facing charges of rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually explicit matter involving a minor.

During an investigation into child pornography charges surrounding William Brock, 65, of Niles, police uncovered several photos of a child in sexual situations and traced the photos back to a cell phone and Ramirez. Some of the photos also included sexually explicit images involving a canine and Ramirez.

According to investigative reports, Ramirez allegedly rubbed ointment on a juvenile relative for her own sexual gratification, took pictures of the act on her cell phone and sent the images via email to Brock, who was Ramirez’s boyfriend at the time.

On July 19, agents with the state Bureau of the Criminal Identification and Investigation along with the FBI and Niles Police raided Brock’s home at 832 Mason St. looking for child pornography.

He is facing 25 charges of second-degree felony pandering obscenity involving a minor and remains at the Trumbull County Jail on a $100,o00 bond. His case has been bound over to Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, but he has not yet been indicted.

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