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Teacher pays students to send him nude photos of themselves

By Mason White 2:25 PM March 8, 2015
Jon Cruz 

By: Chan Yuan
(Scroll down for video) A school teacher was arrested for paying students to send him nude photos of themselves and their private parts.

Jon Cruz, 32, of New York, who was a teacher and a debate coach at the Bronx High School for Science, was arrested on charges relating to producing, receiving, and possessing child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Whenever child pornography charges are brought, it is among the most difficult and disturbing situations law enforcement must face, particularly as it relates to the victims.

“What makes this case even more disturbing than the charges themselves is that Cruz was involved in child pornography while he was working with children every day through his job as a teacher and debate coach. Now, the justice process must take over.”

According to the Complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court, Cruz engaged in multiple chats over a mobile communication application with minor victims from different states.

In those chats, Cruz, who was aware of the ages of the victims, offered to pay them to take nude photographs of themselves and send them to him.

In at least one case, Cruz paid a 15-year-old male of New Mexico, over $500 to take sexually explicit photographs of himself and to send the photographs to him.

Cruz was charged with one count of production of child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.

For production of child pornography, Cruz faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

For his receipt of child pornography, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

For his possession of child pornography, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Cruz has been employed at the school for the past 9 years.