Los Gatos Teacher Jailed on Suspicion of Molesting a Child

A longtime elementary school teacher was arrested today on suspicion of molesting a child years ago and recently making sexual advances on students via Zoom.

According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Joseph Houg, a 50-year-old teacher at Blossom Hill Elementary School  in Los Gatos, was booked today on felony charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and several counts of molestation.

Houg is being held on $100,000 bail and the investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff’s officials say they got a tip on May 14 about a 13-year-old boy claiming that the director of the Los Gatos Youth Theater made him feel uncomfortable during a one-on-one Zoom meeting. Authorities later identified that teacher as Houg.

According to the 13-year-old boy, Houg repeatedly asked to see his ab muscles. Eventually, the victim says, after several attempts to change the subject, he complied.

The 13-year-old boy told police about another kid his age who had a similar interaction with the teacher. The second victim said Houg asked to see a pair of his underwear during another one-on-one Zoom call.

While detectives pursued those two leads, a third victim reached out to say that Houg touched him sexually 12 years ago, when he was still in fifth grade. According to the third victim, Houg pulled the child's shorts down during a physical education class and touched his abdomen and genital area.

Authorities found out that Houg was still teaching fifth grade at the same school, here he had worked for the past two decades.

Detectives served a search warrant on Houg’s San Jose home, where they reported finding "a plethora of behavior indicative of a pedophile."

“Houg had multiple recordings of Zoom meetings of his class performing yoga exercises, videos of young boys changing clothes and videos and images of children in their underwear,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in an announcement of his arrest.

Sheriff’s detectives say they will continue to work closely with the school district and youth theater where Houg worked to determine if there are any more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to reach out to investigators at 408.808.4500. To report a tip anonymously, call 408.808.4431.

13 Comments

  1. Very disturbing. The lesson we should take away here is that we need to be extremely vigilant. Some people are putting forward crazy conspiracy theories about elite satanic pedophiles. That sort of narrative turns pedos into these fantasy monsters, and that image is likely to people from recognizing that the real predators are mixed in among us and look just like us.

  2. Wow, yes, pedophiles are not this fictional characters; they are usually very visible. They choose jobs where they have power and access to children. They choose partners with children or access to them. There are active and non-active pedophiles. Some are gay and some straight. They typically have an age range of children they most sexually attracted to. Physical and chemical castration for those who have molested and abused children because you crossed the line! [email protected] AFGHANISTAN Bacha Bazi! The world has ignored the sexual abuse to Afgano Children!

  3. FEXXY says:

    > Wow, yes, pedophiles are not this fictional characters; they are usually very visible.

    If “proud Democrats” are alarmed by pedophiles, they need to have a conversation with the monopoly Democrat California legislature who seem to be interested in making California more “pedophile friently”.

    https://www.foxla.com/news/new-california-bill-would-lower-penalties-for-adults-who-have-sexual-relations-with-a-minor

    “New California bill would lower penalties for adults who have sexual relations with a minor”

  4. Wow Robert, at least you’re describing the bill accurately instead of some BS about it decriminalizing statutory rape, but do you think a gay 18-year-old should be labeled as a sex offender for life for sleeping with his 17-year-old boyfriend? Because the law as it stands now would automatically label him a sex offender, whereas a straight man can be given a judge’s discretion. We currently trust judge’s to make that decision for straight couples, I don’t see why we can’t afford gay people the same rights as straight people.

  5. Cousin Cortese, CA has been in hell for a while now. It’s just descending into a deeper circle of hell every day.

  6. Bubble my response was to WOW’s comment. If you know me by now, you know I am pro rehab for criminals. However I am NOT in favor of leniency for those criminals who engage in violent crimes. Raping, molesting… are beyond violence! I am in favor of rehabilitation and integration to society and to the workplace after incarceration. The physical and emotional safety of residents especially children, the elderly, and those living with disabilities come first! VICTIM CENTER APPROACH You see bubble, not all democrats are created equal. If it was up to me, I will chemically and physically castrate child rapists! I am civilized believe it or not and law abiding. I control my behavior not my feelings and desires. Active pedophiles have no control over their behavior. Those advocating to remove the Statutory Rape might be rapists and sexual perverts! This is the reason too many children have been victims of molestation and rape. Let’s us be big on the compassion scale and tough on violent crimes.

  7. > Let’s us be big on the compassion scale and tough on violent crimes.

    So, is this a yes or a no?

    > “New California bill would lower penalties for adults who have sexual relations with a minor”

    You agree with the veto proof Democrat legislative majority or you DON’T agree with the veto proof Democrat legislative majority?

  8. BUBBLE YOU CONCRETE THINKING IS ANNOYING! Tough on sexual predators such us Trump types, child rapists, sexual traffickers, so on. Rehab and full integration to society and workforce for non-violent offenders.

  9. “do you think a gay 18-year-old should be labeled as a sex offender for life for sleeping with his 17-year-old boyfriend?”

    Yes.

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