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updated: 1/11/2017 5:50 AM

Ex-Buffalo Grove teacher gets 13 years for having child pornography

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By Katie Smith
Daily Herald correspondent

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a former Buffalo Grove middle school teacher to 13 years in prison for possessing child pornography and encouraging minors to send sexually explicit images of themselves.

Charges were brought against John C. Vastis, 54, of Lakemoor in August 2014. At the time of his arrest, Vastis was a 19-year Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 employee who was teaching public speaking at Meridian Middle School.

Vastis pleaded guilty last year to one count of accessing child pornography with the intent to view. Vastis also admitted in the plea agreement that he watched child pornography involving another victim and pornographic images of another young boy, according to a news release.

The former teacher did not victimize Meridian Middle School children, Buffalo Grove police have said.

The accusations against Vastis surfaced after a search warrant was executed at the home of the boy who was suspected of possessing and distributing child pornography. The boy told federal agents he and Vastis had exchanged sexually explicit messages via text and online video chat since 2013. For nearly a year, Vastis encouraged the victim to record and send sexually explicit photos and videos of himself.

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