Police arrested a kindergarten teacher who was found to be in possession of child pornography.
The teacher's online activities were traced back to his home after U.S. Department of Homeland Security special agents became involved in a New Zealand child porn investigation related to the use of the internet application Chatstep.com.
When police searched the house the man shared with his parents, they found several pairs of children's underwear under his mattress. He admitted that he had stolen the underwear from the backpacks of children who participated in a summer camp program where he worked as a camp coordinator. He said he used the underwear "as a prop to facilitate masturbation."
He denied, however, that he touched his kindergarten students or any of the children in his care at camp. He admitted that he actively watched children in their bathing suits hoping they would expose intimate areas.
Investigators also found video files in the perpetrator's home, marked with "PTHC" or pre-teen hardcore. The videos involved female children between five and eight years of age engaged in sexual activities with adult males.
The former kindergarten teacher told investigators that he was "addicted" to pornography and admitted to distributing child pornography online, according to court documents. The perpetrator is accused of posting photos of girls between four and seven-years-old "in various stages of undress, with their genital areas exposed."
The accused also admitted to exchanging a video of himself masturbating in the shower with 15-year-old girl who sent him nude images of herself. He further admitted to investigators that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with a girl between five and seven years of age whom his mother used to babysit. He would make the girl sit on his lap and he would manipulate her clothing so he could see her "private parts" whenever he picked her up. He said he wanted to physically touch the girl but never had the opportunity to be alone with her.
The former teacher admitted to having sexual thoughts about his students, "but his job meant too much to him." In addition to working as a kindergarten teacher, the perpetrator also worked as a substitute teacher in another school and as a playground camp counselor for the parks and recreation's summer programs in his town.
According to the town supervisor, the perpetrator had passed all the necessary background checks when he applied for a job at the recreation department and the school. Because the perpetrator had access to several children, investigators are still trying to determine if there are more victims. Meaghan M. McDermott, "Court docs: Brockport teacher accused of child porn had stash of kids' underwear," www.wgrz.com (Nov. 22, 2017).