Brooklyn High School Teacher Charged with Production of Child Pornography
Defendant Targeted Minors on Facebook and Convinced Them to Send Sexually Explicit Photos and Videos of Themselves
An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Jonathan Deutsch, a teacher at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The charges relate to sexually explicit images and videos of children that the defendant allegedly requested and received from minors who he targeted on Facebook. Deutsch was arrested today, and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the charges.
“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. “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.” Mr. Donoghue extended his grateful appreciation to the FBI New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is made up of FBI and New York City Police Department investigators, for its investigative work and assistance in the case.
“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. The FBI New York Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force encourages anyone who may believe their child could be a victim to call our office at 212-384-1000.”
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. As part of his broader effort to groom these minors for sexual exploitation, Deutsch often disclosed his status as a teacher. Deutsch contacted hundreds of apparent minors on Facebook and had communications of a sexual nature with at least 45 of them. Deutsch requested and received sexually explicit images or videos from at least four minors, whom the FBI has identified. Those victims range in age from 10 to 16 years old. Deutsch often instructed minors to perform sexually explicit acts and to send him videos and photos of those acts. Deutsch also sent minors sexual photos that he represented to be of himself.
If convicted of any of the five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, Deutsch faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Megan E. Farrell is in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-502