NBC New York
FBI agents visited a public school today in Brooklyn looking for more possible victims of an accused child predator who had been a teacher's aide. Taleek Brooks has pleaded not guilty to the charges but is being held without bail. John Noel reports.
FBI agents visited a Brooklyn elementary school Wednesday as part of a continuing investigation into a teacher's aide accused of making child pornography with kids at the school.
Taleek Brooks, a teacher's aide at PS 243 in Crown Heights, had already been arrested last month on charges of distributing child pornography, and on Tuesday was arrested again for allegedly abusing children.
Agents were expected to conduct outreach for potential additional victims.
According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, an examination of a computer seized from Brooks uncovered a trove of self-produced child porn.
The videos included two taken in a school classroom, one of Brooks touching a child's genitals and another of him spanking a naked child, the complaint says.
Investigators believe they were shot sometime between January 2008 and January 2011. Both incidents appeared to have occurred in a school classroom.
Parents on Wednesday expressed shock, concern and revulsion as they dropped off students.
"He seemed nice. He seemed genuine. You would never think that it was him," Thea Williams said as she delivered her 7-year-old daughter to the school building, its bricks brightly adorned with a cheerful mural of a rainbow, balloons and flowers.
When she picked up the first-grader on Tuesday, "I grilled her," Williams said. "I asked her had she ever been alone with him. She said no."
She also talked to her 12-year-old son, who had graduated from the same school. He told her, "No, he never would have gotten that far with me."
"It's disgusting; it's disgusting," said Charmaine Maxwell as she dropped off her 6-year-old grandson.
"I can't believe it," Maxwell said. "Everyone believed he was such a nice person."
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with about 20 parents on Wednesday, expressing his support. Afterward, he spoke outside the school, reiterating that everyone who works there has been properly vetted and that the FBI is investigating.
"Parents will be asking questions. They should be asking questions," Walcott said.
"As chancellor, and as a father, I am horrified and disgusted at the charges we learned of today from the FBI," Walcott said in a statement Tuesday after meeting with the staff and PTA president. "Our paramount concern is for the safety of our students, and we are cooperating fully with the federal authorities as they continue their investigation."
The city Department of Education first hired Brooks for a summer job in 1991, when he was fingerprinted and passed a background check. He was given a full-time job as a teacher's aide with the school system in 1993.
Brooks also had worked with children at an after-school program affiliated with Weeksville. Program director Christa McCarthy-Miller said Tuesday that the defendant had passed routine background checks, and that she wasn't aware of any previous complaints against him.
As a "group leader" for about 14 children, Brooks' job was to encourage them to make "positive life choices," McCarthy-Miller said.
"We're obviously very saddened by this," she said.
A letter sent to parents alerted to them to the accusations against Brooks, saying that "these incidents may have occurred on school grounds." It advised families to call an FBI tip line if they had information about the case.
A previous complaint had accused Brooks of sending pornographic photos and videos of children to an undercover agent he met online. The complaint says one of the images was of a man having sex with a boy who appeared to be about 10.
Brooks' lawyer and relatives declined to comment.
For information on signs of child abuse and how to report it, check here.