Friendly Danger At The Elementary School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #119

Hello, friends. Thank you for spending some of your busy day or evening to read my post.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, by now, you know schools unknowingly employ pedophiles. And there’s not much we can do about it until it’s too late. In my opinion, parents need to talk openly with their young children about ‘stranger danger’ and ‘friendly danger.’

Something as weird as an employee taking a picture of your child’s feet (see linked post) should raise a BIG red flag. Barefoot in First Grade

BLOG POST #119: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving an elementary school’s teacher’s assistant.

What do the websites Dark Moon and King of Future Dreams have in common?

They are the two member-only websites where a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant exchanged photographs of children being sexually abused.

Who’s Watching The Employees?

In 2006, he began working for the school district as a substitute teacher’s assistant, at both middle school and elementary school levels. Several months after he started he was moved to a permanent position.

In 2014, the teacher’s assistant began exchanging pornographic images with an undercover police officer in New Zealand. The New Zealand Police Department forwarded the obtained information to the local law enforcement agency.

High End Of Criminal Culpability

Many of the 40,000+ pornographic images found on the teacher’s assistant’s home computer showed prepubescent males being sexually abused. None of the pornographic images were of students from the school where he worked.

There were however, non-pornographic images of students from his school that he had either taken or copied from Facebook posts. He used these images as avatars on his file-sharing accounts. Others on the sites made comments about the sex acts they wanted to perform on the children depicted in the avatar photos.

At the sentencing, the U.S. District Court Judge said, she had worked in the field of computer forensics for nearly 16 years, and could say with some confidence that someone in possession of more than 40,000 sexually explicit images and videos of children is at the high end of criminal culpability for this particular offense.

No Compassion: No Empathy

A jury convicted the former teacher’s assistant of conspiracy to make, print, or publish “any notice or advertisement seeking or offering” child pornography. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

The U.S. District Court Judge said, “To gain gratification looking at pictures of children being tortured is not the type of thing someone with compassion and empathy would have.”

Victim Impact Statements

Parents of the children whose images were used as avatars wrote in their victim impact statements – they felt they had “failed” their children because they were unable to protect them. Very sad.

Parents also wrote, the impact of the defendant’s violation of their trust is that they “question everyone’s motives…don’t relax…and live in a tense world wondering who else wants to bring harm to [their] children.”

We no longer live in a world where children can safely play outside unattended all day and into the evening long after the street lights have turned on. My heart goes out to all families whose children have suffered because of a sexual predator working at their school.

Worth Mentioning: The former teacher’s assistant filed a motion to appeal the substantively unreasonable sentence in light of mitigating factors such as his lack of prior criminal history, age, education, his cooperation with law enforcement and the likelihood that he will re-offend. The appellate court upheld his sentence.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and caring about children!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

A Sexual Predator At The High School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #108Greetings and thank you for reading my blog post. You care about children, or you wouldn’t continue to read my research. I believe understanding more about the dangers lurking online and offline helps us make the world a safer place for kids.

There are so many websites on the internet where teenagers can connect with other teens. Unfortunately, pedophiles and sexual predators are also on those sites. If you haven’t talked openly with your children about cyber predators, perhaps it’s time you did.

BLOG POST #111: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school teacher and a teenage girl (not one of his students).

How Much Freedom Should Teenagers Have?

If you have children, I’m sure you’ve had moments when you wanted to snoop on your child’s electronic device to see what websites they visit. Keeping an eye on who they communicate with on social media is a challenge. You might question if they deserve some freedom, or if they know better than to get involved in anything inappropriate. I say, kick those thoughts to the curb and snoop.

On this Mother’s Day weekend I’d like to salute the mother in this case for her decision to check-up on her daughter. If it hadn’t been for her, there’s no telling how this story may have ended.

Kids Are Easy To Persuade: Puppies. Candy. Money.

The teacher had met the teenage girl on a website called ‘deviantart.’ After some time, the two moved their communication to emails.

He started grooming her slowly by talking about photography and problems in life. He lavished her with compliments about her beauty. Then he transitioned into a business proposition. If she sent him nude photos, he’d send money and gifts. She started sending him nude photos. In return, he sent her money, books, candy, clothes, panties, and makeup.

When the mother questioned her daughter about the packages she was receiving, the daughter explained they were from a high school friend who had moved to another state.

To Snoop Or Not To Snoop – That Is The Question

Before the mother found out about the teacher’s inappropriate and illegal conduct, the teacher wanted more than photos. He and the teenager began using Skype to converse and masturbate together.

And then one day the teenage girl’s mother saw her daughter’s email account open on her computer, so she snooped to see what her daughter was doing and with whom she had been exchanging emails.

She was taken aback to find sexually explicit emails containing nude photos of her daughter and nude photos of a much older man. She immediately notified her local law enforcement agency.

Investigators Have Heard It All

The teacher told the law enforcement office who was questioning him, he taught high school advanced placement psychology and believed everything he was doing was helping the young girl feel good about her individuality. In reality, he taught social studies.

He admitted to participating in sexual role-play through emails with the young girl. Explaining his behavior as part of the ‘therapy’ he was using to help her feel good about herself.

When the investigator asked the teacher about sending nude photos of himself and specifically of his penis, he denied sending any. Later he admitted to sending the photos but failed to have a reasonable explanation as to why he sent them.

He’s Right Where He Should Be

After searching his electronic devices, FBI agents discovered another teenager he was grooming and had enticed into producing and sending him pornographic photos. And there was more child pornography recovered from his computer.

He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. A federal judge sentenced him to 27 years in prison for enticement of a minor and production of child pornography plus a 20-year concurrent sentence for receiving child pornography. Upon release (at age of 86) he will serve a lifetime of supervised release and register as a sex offender.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Teacher Gets 25-Years for Depriving Students

BLOG POST #100Thank you for reading my blog post. The 100th post is a milestone and should be cause for celebration. When I think about 100 posts, it makes me sad that there are so many crimes occurring at or connected to schools that my research content is plentiful.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say parents and community members can make a difference in school safety by staying informed and aware.

BLOG POST #100: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school assistant director of music.

His teaching career began to spiral out-of-control during his early 30s.

Withholding Information

At the end of the school year, he was dismissed from the high school for inappropriate texting with a student. He secured a position at another school in a different state for the next school year.

There was some confusion about whether or not the high school misled the new school when they were conducting their background check on the teacher.

The new school said they received four positive references. But none of the references said why the teacher left.

The high school said the new school did not contact any administrators. And if they had, they would have been told he was ‘involuntarily terminated.’

Later, I’ll share my thoughts on why this scenario happens often.

Change Doesn’t Erase your Past

Most likely, the former assistant director of music spent his summer transitioning to a new city, a new home, and a new job.

What he didn’t know was the County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force received a tip about the teacher and began an investigation.

He was arrested in late September and remained in jail until he was sentenced.

The Bad Apple: Is Doing More Harm Than Spoiling the Bunch

This man was a teacher,” the Assistant U.S. Attorney said, “This man was supposed to care for the children. He was supposed to protect the children.”

The former teacher reportedly admitted to sexually charged text exchanges with students. In addition to sexual contact with a student more than ten times. And to coaxing a student to use the teacher’s phone and record himself masturbating.

The victim reportedly told investigators he and the teacher watched pornography together.

Was Justice Served?

In December of the same year, he pleaded guilty to the production of child pornography. Because he shipped, mailed, or transported material in interstate or foreign commerce the crime is Federal.

At the sentencing, the U.S. District Judge told the former teacher what he did was “tantamount to taking the victim’s life. Everyone should have their period of innocence. This individual was deprived of that, he’ll never get it back.”

He was sentenced to 25-years in Federal prison where there is no parole. He was also ordered to pay $12,290.05 to his victims. He was sentenced to a prison where he can receive intensive sex-offender treatment.

Upon release, he must register as a sex offender and notify law enforcement where he lives.

If you found this case interesting, here’s a similar case you will want to read: The Middle School Teacher’s Heinous Crime

When the Boss Isn’t Paying Attention

Why aren’t the bad apples weeded out during the vetting process? Or immediately when issues arise? I think it’s because laws prohibit employers from disclosing disciplinary actions.

However, laws don’t prohibit employers from investigating reports of inappropriate behavior, documenting, and then dismissing the bad apples. I believe weak leadership allows many of the bad apples to continue to work with children.

To their defense, school leaders typically start out as teachers and work their way up the chain of command. Most teachers became teachers because they wanted to teach children, not because they aspired to be a CEO.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

The Middle School Teacher’s Heinous Crime

Blog Post #96

Thank you! I appreciate you taking time from your busy day or night to read my post. Respecting that everyone has a lot going on, I try to keep my posts short and to the point. The research on crimes like what I’m sharing today is painful to read. I’m sorry, but it’s the reality of what’s happening in and around our schools.

BLOG POST #96: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a middle school teacher.

Was the Heinous Crime Worth the Risk?

Did you know men make up approximately 18% of the middle school teachers in the United States? Why would a highly sought after teacher on the path to success risk losing it all?

Male Middle School Teachers: A Hot Commodity

Depending on how hard they work, and what state they live in, a high school graduate can receive a teaching credential in 5-7 years.

With so few men teaching at the middle school level, a young male teacher can be a role model for boys.

But what if men in the 25 to 35 age range aren’t mature enough to deal with the day-to-day interaction with teenagers in the prime of puberty?

A Teaching Certificate Doesn’t Make You a Good Person

He’d graduated with honors, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the state university.

At 25, he began teaching Computer Science to 11-13-year-old middle school students. He added Yearbook Advisor to his growing resume.

By the age of 31, he was on the radar of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The middle school teacher had paid for and viewed more than 50 live webcasts showing abusive sex shows with overseas children as young as 12. His computer revealed over 600 images of children under the age of 12, portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

During the search of his home and electronic devices, Homeland Security Investigators discovered he’d voyeuristically photographed and videotaped girls he taught, and then manipulated the photos using a software program to attempt to visualize the private area through their clothing.

From Freedom to Incarceration

He was arrested, charged and indicted on charges of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. It goes without saying; he lost his job. The hard earned teaching certificate was permanently revoked.

The U.S. Attorney said, “The receipt of and possession of child pornography by a teacher is one of the most heartbreaking violations of trust imaginable.”

Before trial, he pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison where there is no parole, plus five years of supervised release.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonAvailable at Amazon

UNKNOWN THREAT

Book 1 in the School Marshal Series

An entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel

The Kind of Teacher You Don’t Want Teaching Your Son

 

Blog Posdt #94The Internet is a happening place – a lot to read and a lot to learn. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my post. I promise to keep it short.

Most of my posts are about super sad stuff going on in or connected to schools. The research I share is hard to fathom, but important to know so we can all be more vigil about keeping children safe.

BLOG POST #94: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a school teacher.

Midway through her second year at the middle school, a young female Language Arts teacher was placed on ‘Relief of Duty’ for an ethics code violation.

Distorted Affection

The ethics code violation was personal communication with a male student via text messaging. She told a fellow teacher, she loved the student; he was her favorite, her baby. She told another colleague the student made her melt.

Of course we want teachers to like the children they teach. But there’s a line that should not be crossed. This teacher crossed the line.

One month after the ‘Relief of Duty’ period, she submitted her resignation.

Failure to Inform: Silenced by Law

You’d think the middle school position was the beginning and end of this teacher’s short career. Think again. Laws prohibit employers from disclosing disciplinary actions. The closest you can get to warn an inquiring employer is to give an honest answer to the question: “Would you hire him/her again?” Even that may border on illegal. This disclosure muzzle is not exclusive to schools.

Three years after she resigned from the middle school, she began teaching English at a high school. She also tutored students whose grades were falling behind.

At some point during her second year at the high school, she grew close to and had feelings for one of the 17-year-old students she tutored. It began when she touched his leg and then kissed him.

A Tiger Cannot Change its Stripes

After graduation, the young man, now over 18, moved in with the teacher. While living together, the teacher cheated on her partner with another 17-year-old student. The teacher and the young man had an 18-month sexual relationship.

The parents of one of her victims notified the authorities of her inappropriate behavior, and an investigation ensued. She was arrested and charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor. Investigators learned she’d had sexual relations with two more students.

The Truth Won’t Set You Free

Before trial, investigators determined she’d had regular sexual relations with three minors. In the end, at age 30, she pleaded guilty to 37 counts of unlawful sex with a minor. The judge sentenced her to 22-years in prison.

The Circuit Judge said at her sentencing, “You were the adult, the teacher, the role model and you violated one of the great trusts we have. It’s trusting our teachers with our children.”

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

After her sentencing, her attorney filed a motion to reduce her sentence based on several reasons. Here are a few of those reasons:

  1. The victims were willing participants.
  2. Her mental health.
  3. The lack of treatment options for her in prison.

A neuro and forensic psychologist testified on her behalf. He stated men typically engage in sexual relationships with minors for predatory and self-satisfying reasons. Women are less predatory; they engage for emotional reasons. He also said men are the ones that typically re-offend.

The State Prosecutor pointed out she’d had three victims and argued she is, in fact, a ‘predator.’

The judge denied the motion to reduce her sentence.

 

What do you think about this case? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it. Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Available at Amazon

UNKNOWN THREAT

Book 1 in the School Marshal Series

An entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel