Jonathan Deutsch was sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn by United States District Judge Frederic Block to 20 years in prison for four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and six counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. Deutsch is employed as a teacher by the New York City Department of Education, and immediately prior to his arrest, he was teaching at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brooklyn. The defendant was convicted in June 2022 following a one-week trial.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.
“The defendant will be incarcerated for many years and deservedly so because he is the most dangerous type of predator, a teacher who enjoys victimizing children. Instead of using his training and skills as a teacher to enrich children, he used those skills to gain the trust of minors in order to sexually exploit them,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “We will continue to do all that we can to protect our children from sexual exploitation.”
“Deutsch was convicted at trial of sexually exploiting children as young as 10-years old, and with today’s sentence, he learned the consequences of his depraved actions. He will rightfully serve a lengthy term in federal prison, where he will no longer pose a threat to our society’s most vulnerable members,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
“Mr. Deutsch violated, in a truly reprehensible way, the sacred trust that exists between teachers and young people,” stated NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “Today’s sentencing sends an unequivocal message that the NYPD and our law enforcement partners will never tolerate the appalling acts of such criminal predators. I commend and thank all of the involved investigators at the city, state, and federal levels, and everyone at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, for their critical efforts on this important case.”
As set forth in the government’s sentencing memorandum and related court proceedings, in 2016 and 2017, Deutsch used multiple Facebook accounts to meet minors online. In one of his Facebook accounts, Deutsch posed as a 33-year-old teacher from New York, and in another account, he posed as a 14-year-old boy. Deutsch joined Facebook groups frequented by LGBTQ+ minors who were struggling with their sexuality and gender identity. After meeting in groups, Deutsch directly messaged children to develop relationships with them. When chatting with children, the defendant flattered them to gain their trust, and he offered support, comfort and affirmation when they expressed sadness, insecurity or pain. Then, Deutsch engaged the children in hyper-sexual conversation and enticed them to engage in sexually explicit conduct so that he could get videos and photos of that conduct. He also sent minors sexual photos that he represented to be of himself. Ultimately, Deutsch requested and received sexually explicit images or videos from at least four children, ranging in age from 10 to 16 years old.
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 Civil Rights Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Megan E. Farrell and Rachel Shanies are in charge of the prosecution with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Adam Bernard.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-502 (S-1) (FB)