Chicago Pre-School Teacher Faces Felony Charges for Child Pornography
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced the bringing of charges against a western Chicago suburban pre-school teacher who now faces felony charges after being involved in child pornography, which was revealed in an investigation after concerned citizens gave rise to the issue. The Chicago man has allegedly participated in the trade of pornographic materials, such as images and video clips, through a file-sharing program.
Richard Gertler, 34, a pre-school teacher in the western suburbs of Chicago, has been charged with Dissemination of Child Pornography – a Class X Felony, and Possession of Child Pornography – a Class 2 Felony, for the acquiring and trading of child pornography data amongst other individuals.
An investigation by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was initiated, following the development of information on the defendant participating in the trade of child pornographic materials, wherein it was found that the defendant has been making child pornography paraphernalia available for download via a file-sharing program. A peer-to-peer file-sharing website was allegedly being used by the defendant to distribute child pornography images.
The Berwyn Police Department, along with detectives from the Elmwood Park, Forest Park, and Oak Park, executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home located in Oak Park, Chicago, where approximately 300 images and files related to child pornography has been recovered on a laptop computer by the police. Furthermore, there were over 25 printed physical copies of photographs of child pornography in the house of the defendant.
West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest released a statement regarding the defendant saying that he has only worked at the temple as a pre-school teacher for only two days prior to his arrest. The temple also noted that the defendant did not have “principal responsibility” over any children, further asserting that the defendant had not spent any unsupervised period with any of the children. The west suburban temple has claimed to have removed any contact with the defendant for the safety of the children in the temple. Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office noted that there were no pieces of evidence showing that the defendant victimized anyone in his care.
Further investigations revealed that the defendant claimed to be the owner of Daddy Day Care in Oak Park according to his LinkedIn profile; however, when reached through phone, Daddy Day Care gave no response.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is an initiative that targets offenders involved in child pornography, missing child cases, and sexual solicitation of a child. The task force is committed to investigating and prosecuting these criminals, as well as providing assistance and information for parents, guardians, and educators regarding internet safety.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office worked in collaboration with the Berwyn Police Department and with several detectives from Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Oak Park, among other Chicago Police Departments to investigate and prosecute the case successfully.
Richard Gertler was arrested on June 4, 2014, following the search warrant executed in his house. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carol Kipperman set the bond for the defendant at $250,000 during a bond court on June 5, 2014, held at the Maywood Courthouse. The defendant is set to appear in court for his next court day on June 25, 2014.
Federal criminal defense lawyer Daniel Perlman says that the provided criminal documents containing allegations are not evidence of guilt, the public is reminded that the defendant shall be presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Updated: October 10, 2020