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Police: Art Teacher Viewed Child Porn At School

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Joshua Rich, 53, an art teacher at Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of child pornography, according to Waukegan police.

Joshua Rich, 53, an art teacher at Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of child pornography, according to Waukegan police.

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Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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UPDATED 09/08/11 8:25 a.m.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – A Waukegan middle school art teacher has been arrested for allegedly bringing child pornography to school, and viewing it right in the middle of class on his classroom computer.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, police now want to know if any students were molested.

Joshua Rich, 53, an art teacher at Miguel Juarez Middle School in Waukegan, was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of child pornography, according to Waukegan police. Rich has been with the school district for about 13 years.

Chief Daniel Greathouse said the investigation continues and “at this point we don’t have any information that any school children were victimized … 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.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Police were contacted by school district administrators after the middle school’s information technology department noticed suspicious computer activity, a release from police said.

A school investigation determined Rich was using his classroom computer to access child porn Web sites, the release said.

The school’s web filter was working, but Rich was able to shortcut the system by bringing his own flash drive with its own web browser, permitting him to bypass the school’s browser.

Rich was arrested without incident and detectives confiscated his flash drive, where they found a video containing child pornography. Police also executed a search warrant at Rich’s Libertyville home and removed his computers.

Rich allegedly provided a written statement admitting his involvement, but denied any wrongdoing involving students while working at the school.

Greathouse said, “I am not buying that this revolting behavior just started a year ago. No one initiates such a despicable behavior at his place of employment, without a precipitating event.”

Rich of of the 100 block of Austin Street in Libertyville, is being held in the Lake County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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