Johnson County middle school custodian accused of possessing child sexual abuse images

A 52-year-old custodian at an Olathe middle school is accused of possessing images depicting child sexual abuse, according to court records.

Johnson County prosecutors charged John T. Houghton, of Mission, with a single felony of sexual exploitation of a child. He was being held Wednesday in jail on a $50,000 bond.

Charges were brought against Houghton on Tuesday. His listed place of employment is Mission Trail Middle School, according to court records.

Further details of the allegation against Houghton were not available in Johnson County court records.

In a letter to families Wednesday, interim Principal Scott McFarland said the school district immediately fired Houghton and banned him from school property once news of his arrest was shared by Mission police.

“In Olathe Public Schools, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. This is considered a police matter, therefore we are limited on the details we can share,” McFarland said in the letter, which was shared with The Star on Wednesday. “However, at this time, his arrest does not indicate any connection to our school or district.”

McFarland added that “an extensive background check” is part of the hiring process for all employees, and those who fail to meet the district’s requirements are not hired.

Houghton is being represented by a public defender. An attorney appointed by the court did not immediately reply to The Star’s request for comment.

Houghton made his initial court appearance Wednesday. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 31.

The Star’s Sarah Ritter contributed to this report.