Teacher's Aide Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
Videos and Images Were Filmed in Brooklyn Elementary School Classroom
Earlier today, Taleek Brooks, a former teacher’s aide at a public elementary school in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and distributing child pornography. The proceedings were held before United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. Brooks faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 50 years’ imprisonment when sentenced on May 23, 2013.
The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.
Brooks, a teacher’s aide at Public School 243, The Weeksville School, in Brooklyn, regularly downloaded and distributed videos and images depicting child pornography over the Internet through a peer-to-peer file sharing program. In December 2011, Brooks accepted a “friend” request from an undercover FBI special agent, which permitted the agent to observe and download several videos and images depicting child pornography that Brooks had designated for sharing with his “friends” on the peer-to-peer network.
On January 13, 2012, FBI special agents executed a search warrant on Brooks’s residence in Brooklyn. During the search, agents seized, among other items, a computer and two external hard drives from Brooks’s bedroom. Hundreds of videos and images depicting child pornography were found on the computer equipment.
A FBI forensic examination of the equipment revealed that Brooks had produced child pornography. In a folder that Brooks had labeled “Special,” investigators recovered videos and images of a young child performing sexually explicit acts at Brooks’s direction. Brooks can be heard and seen in some of the videos. Investigators later confirmed that the young child had been a student at Public School 243 while Brooks was a teacher’s aide and that the videos and images were produced in two of the school’s classrooms.
“School is supposed to be a place of learning, where our children can excel and grow. Brooks turned his classroom into a place of fear and exploitation, taking advantage of the trust that was placed in him by a young child that he was charged with teaching and protecting. He spent his additional time and energy collecting images of the exploitation of yet more children. We stand committed to protecting our youth from those who abuse them and violate that trust,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Today’s guilty plea stands as a strong warning to those who prey on our youth that we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos stated, “Brooks not only collected and traded images of child pornography, he created it when he directed and recorded a child performing sexually explicit acts in a school classroom. The FBI is committed to protecting children by policing child predators.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Polemeni.
The Department of Justice believes that it is important to keep victims/witnesses of federal crime informed of court proceedings and what services may be available to assist you.