What to Know
Jonathan Deutsch, a teacher at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brooklyn, has been arrested on child porn charges
Deutsch allegedly used Facebook to solicit sexually explicit photos and videos from dozens of children as young as 10 years old
The teacher could face at least 15 years in prison if he's convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn
A Brooklyn high school teacher allegedly used Facebook to solicit sexually explicit photos and videos from dozens of children as young as 10 years old, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said.
Jonathan Deutsch, 34, who teaches at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Manhattan Beach, was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child on Wednesday, the attorney’s office said.
He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon. A judge ordered Deutsch be held without bond, noting he was less concerned about Deutsch posing a flight risk than he was about him posing a danger to the community.
Deutsch previously taught at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Tech High School and Gramercy Arts High School in Manhattan, focusing on subjects including English, Special Education and Theater Arts, according to a detention memo.
Deutsch allegedly started reaching out to minors on Facebook around January 2017, according to the attorney’s office, telling them he was a teacher “as part of his broader effort to groom [them] for sexual exploitation.”
Deutsch used fake Facebook accounts he created using pseudonyms including "Sam Morgan" and "Jay Stern" to contact the children, according to the detention memo.
The teacher allegedly sent messages to hundreds of Facebook users who appeared to be minors, and had sexual conversations with at least 45 users, the attorney’s office said.
Deutsch allegedly targeted children who were vulnerable, seeking out Facebook users who were in groups for kids with emotional issues, prosecutors said.
He also asked for and received sexually explicit images or videos from at least four of the users, who ranged in age from 10 to 16, the office added.
“Deutsch often instructed minors to perform sexually explicit acts and to send him videos and photos of those acts,” the office said. “Deutsch also sent minors sexual photos that he represented to be of himself.”
On one occasion, in May 2017, Deutsch allegedly pretended to be a 14-year-old boy, asked a 10-year-old girl if she "wanted to be 'bf gf'" and told her he "had previously dated an 8-year-old girl," the detention memo said. The girl then sent explicit photos of herself to Deutsch, according to the memo.
The memo contains other disturbing details as well, including an allegation that Deutsch asked a 16-year-old girl he was in contact with to film herself drinking urine.
Deutsch "often bragged about his supposed prior sexual experiences with students and young children," the memo claims.
The teacher could face at least 15 years in prison if he's convicted, according to the attorney’s office.
Deutsch’s attorney information wasn’t immediately available Wednesday.
A spokesman for the city’s Department of Education called the allegations "extremely disturbing," adding that Deutsch had been reassigned away from students since January and will remain reassigned.
"We will seek his removal from payroll and termination as soon as legally possible," he said.