Corey Perry, the middle school teacher wanted on child pornography charges, may have met some of his alleged victims through his involvement with youth sports, Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said Monday.
“We understand he was very active in youth-type activities, coaching and doing trips and things with kids outside of the regular school district work,” Avossa said of Perry, a Howell L. Watkins Middle School teacher who vanished late last month after becoming the target of a federal child pornography probe.
Perry, 33, is being sought on charges of producing child pornography. But investigators have declined to describe his alleged acts or the number of known victims, or how he came in contact with the children he allegedly victimized.
Perry was a coach for the basketball team at Watkins Middle in Palm Beach Gardens, but Avossa said the computer science teacher had also worked with children in recreational sports leagues and knew some of his victims through those teams.
It’s not clear what recreational leagues Perry may have worked with, but his personal Facebook page indicates he spent time working with players on the Watkins school basketball team, participating in private training sessions and attending recreational league basketball games in Wellington and Boca Raton.
“As I understand it, some of this occurred after hours in different parts of the community where this individual was coaching in youth sports, etc., and not necessarily at school,” Avossa said.
Avossa’s comments came in response to reporters’ questions during a media briefing Monday morning. He did not say whether some of Perry’s alleged victims were Watkins Middle students but indicated that some appeared to be from other schools.
“It could be kids from other middle schools,” Avossa said. “I understand that he did youth programming as far north as parts of Jupiter and that there may be kids who are older that he engaged with.”
Perry’s school email accounts and computer equipment were searched but did not appear to contain any materials related to child pornography, Avossa said.
“None of this information was on the school district websites or computers,” he said. “To my knowledge this is technology that this individual owned on his own.”
FBI agents searched Perry’s home on March 24 and officials say the teacher fled that same day and has not been seen since.
Perry has been a teacher in Palm Beach County’s public school system since 2005. He has taught at Watkins Middle since 2010.
Regarded for his skills as a computer-science teacher, he was nominated this year for the countywide Dwyer teaching award in the category of science, technology, engineering and math.