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High-school teacher arrested on child-porn charges

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A public high-school teacher from Coney Island was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child in federal court on Sept. 19.

Jonathan Deutsch allegedly requested and exchanged sexually explicit images and videos with children he targeted on Facebook, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Deutsch — who lives on W. Fifth Street between Mitchell Wesson Place and Neptune Avenue, according to public records — most recently taught film production, government and economics, and journalism at the city’s Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Manhattan Beach, according to the school’s website. He also previously taught at Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, Brooklyn Tech High School in Fort Greene, and Gramercy Arts High School in Manhattan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Deutsch abused his position as a teacher to exploit and abuse young children’s trust, said the U.S. Attorney.

“It is clear from the content of these conversations that the defendant targeted vulnerable, often prepubescent children and then used his status as a teacher, among other things, to develop a relationship with those children and thereby groom them for exploitati­on,” said Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Deutsch allegedly targeted hundreds of Facebook users who appeared to be children from their profiles since January 2017, when he allegedly began contacting them via Facebook messenger using multiple accounts under various names, having sexual communications with at least 45 of them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Then Deutsch allegedly requested and exchanged sexually explicit images or videos with at least four children between the ages of 10 and 16-years-old whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified, and allegedly instructed them on several occasions to photograph and film themselves performing sexually explicit acts, according to court documents.

Authorities allege that Deutsch told some of the users that he was a teacher and “into drugs and children,” and told others he was a teenage boy. He also allegedly sent some children pictures of his own genitals, and told some of his targets that he previously had sex with children and had “dated” an 8-year-old girl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would not say whether or not Deutsch ever met any of his victims in person, or whether he targeted children in the schools where he worked.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. said that parents must be vigilant about monitoring who their children interact with online, and encouraged anyone who believes they know a child who could be a victim of sexual exploitation to call the office of the bureau’s New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force at (212) 384–1000.

“Parents, working with law enforcement, are the first line of defense against sexual predators who can now reach into your child’s bedroom from anywhere in the world,” Sweeney said.

Detusch faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years if convicted of any of the five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Department of Education spokesman said that the department would reassign Deutsch out of the classroom and planned to fire him as soon as the law allows.

“These are extremely disturbing allegations, and Mr. Deutsch will remain reassigned away from students,” said Doug Cohen. “We will seek his removal from payroll and termination as soon as legally possible.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 12:00 am, September 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

Les from Brighton says:
His alleged acts are despicable; however, publishing his home address is equally as despicable. That's terrible journalism.
Sept. 22, 2 pm

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