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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Former Wheeler High School Teacher

Charged With Receiving Child Pornography

HAMMOND – Brian Kunze, age 31, of Valparaiso, Indiana, was charged by criminal Complaint with receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

According to documents in the case, Mr. Kunze, a former Wheeler High School teacher, used his position of authority at the school to coax one of his minor students into taking and sending him sexually explicit photos of herself.  Digital forensic examination of devices seized by federal law enforcement agents from Mr. Kunze’s home also revealed that he knowingly obtained sexually explicit photos of other minor girls who attended the school.   

“Use of a position of authority to betray the trust placed in a teacher by his student is a very serious offense for which my office will hold all perpetrators accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Kirsch. “Individuals who seek out sexually explicit images of minor children, will be investigated and prosecuted by my office.”   

The United States Attorney’s office emphasizes that a Complaint is merely an allegation and that the United States is required to prove the allegation before a defendant can be found liable.

If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the Judge after consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan City Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster. 

Anyone with information about Mr. Kunze or his alleged crime is encouraged to call the Merrillville office of the FBI’s GRIT Task Force at (219) 942-4900. 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 1, 2020