Brooklyn, New York: 38-year-old Jonathan Deutsch, a former teacher at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, was found guilty in federal court on Tuesday, June 14, on four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and six counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.
He faces a mandatory minimum possible sentence of 15 years in prison.
“As alleged, Jonathan Deutsch, a Brooklyn high school teacher, solicited and received sexually explicit material from minors he contacted on Facebook,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue in a statement posted after the unsealing of the indictment against him in September 2018. “The protection of innocent children is an utmost priority for this Office and our law enforcement partners. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that those who contribute to the exploitation and victimization of children will be brought to justice.”
“Our children deserve to grow up in a world where they don't have to face overcoming the horrors and scars of sexual abuse,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The fact that this suspect was a teacher makes this crime even more egregious. 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."
According to court filings, beginning around January 2017, Deutsch targeted Facebook users who appeared from their profiles to be minors, and then contacted them using Facebook messenger in an attempt to develop a relationship, using one of at least two accounts. On one account, he presented himself as a 33-year-old teacher from New York while on the other, he posed as a 15-year-old boy.
He is said to have engaged in sexualized conversations with at least 45 suspected minors. Of those, investigators identified at least four children between the ages of 10 and 16 that he managed to exploit images or videos of a sexual nature from.
"The trust between teachers and young students is vitally important, and violation of that trust by criminal predators is truly reprehensible," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said according to WABC. "This defendant's appalling actions are a reminder to all parents to closely monitor their child's online activity, and today's conviction further proves that the NYPD and our law enforcement partners will never abate our efforts to keep young people safe.