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updated: 9/8/2011 10:15 AM

Cops: Waukegan art teacher viewed child pornography at school

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  • Joshua Rich

      Joshua Rich

 
 

A Waukegan middle school art teacher has been charged after members of the school's ITY department discovered he was using a classroom computer to access child pornography websites, according to police.

Joshua Rich, 53, of Libertyville was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of possession of child pornography.

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Rich, who lives on the 100 block of Austin Street, is an art teacher at Miguel Jaurez Middle School and has worked in Waukegan District 60 for about 13 years, according to police.

Police said Rich brought a flash drive to school with its own web browser to bypass the school's web filter, which would have prevented him from visiting the sites.

The school's IT department noticed the suspicious activity and conducted its own investigation before administrators contacted police.

Police immediately began working with the school and, after arresting Rich without incident, confiscated the flash drive. Detectives found a video containing child pornography on the flash drive, according to police.

Rich cooperated with police and provided a written statement admitting his involvement, but he denied any wrongdoing involving any district students, according to authorities.

"I am not buying that this revolting behavior just started a year ago," said Waukegan Police Chief Daniel Greathouse said in a written statement. "No one initiates such despicable behavior at his place of employment, without a precipitating event."

Detectives also executed a search warrant on Rich's home and removed his computers.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and there is no information that any students were victimized by Rich.

"However, I want to make it clear to all parents to speak to their children, and if anyone has any questions or fears a child was victimized, to contact the police department right away," Greathouse said in the statement.

Rich is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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