Waukegan teacher pleads to child porn charges
A Waukegan art teacher has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography after accepting a negotiated deal with prosecutors, officials said.
Joshua Rich, 54, of the 100 block of Washington Street in Libertyville, was sentenced to 30 months of probation, must register as a sex offender for life and has relinquished his teaching degree after accepting the plea deal Wednesday, Assistant State's Attorney Mary Stanton said.
He must also perform 200 hours of public service and make a $500 donation to Lake County Children's Advocacy Center, Stanton said.
Rich, a former art teacher at Waukegan's Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan Unit District 60, was arrested after he viewed child pornography at his classroom computer, authorities said.
Administrators at the middle school called police after the district's IT department discovered Rich was using his classroom computer to access child pornography websites by using a flash drive to avoid the school's Web filter.
Detectives investigating the case said the flash drive also contained a video of child pornography.
None of the images involved any students from District 60, authorities said at the time of his arrest in September.
Rich, who has worked at the middle school for 13 years, could have served up to five years in prison if found guilty of the charges.