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Middle school teacher arrested on the first day of school in child pornography bust


A well-regarded suburban Chicago middle school teacher was arrested Tuesday by federal agents in a child pornography bust – on the first day of school.

John Vastis, 51, of Lakemoor, Illinois, faces several charges for allegedly forcing a 16-year-old boy to send him pornographic images and videos, authorities said. Vastis teaches fifth and sixth graders.

Department of Homeland Security agents and local police first learned of Vastis, also known as "Paul," after executing a search warrant on the minor's home on August 15, according to a pair of affidavits obtained by AOL News.

He was previously featured in the Buffalo Grove Tribune as having been one of 10 teachers awarded a Walmart gift card to use in their classrooms.

The boy admitted to sharing explicit images with Vastis and engaging in explicit chats with the balding man more than 30-years his senior, investigators said. "Minor A" also provided police with Vastis' cell phone number.

Vastis first met the boy via Skype, the online voice and video chat program, according to the teen, who has not been named because he is a minor.

An analysis of the data recovered from the boy's computer showed the duo exchanged over 3,200 lines of chat messages beginning in January 2013, authorities said.

"Are u really 16 [sic]?" Vastis asked the boy during one of their chats, according to a transcript included in the court documents.

"Yea, but most people think I'm a cop [sic]," the boy replies.

"I will admit it crossed my mind... ur into older guys?" Vastis asks.

The boy says he is and Vastis replies that he is 50-years-old, 5'8" and 245-pounds.

"Nicee [sic]," the teen says.

The pair then exchange pics and the boy says he turns 17 in a few months, according to the transcript.

"I'd love to meet you sometime but I will admit I'm nervous that you might be a cop or something," wrote Vastis. "If I could see u on cam I'd feel less apprehensive."

The boy asks Vastis what he wants to see, the boy complies and they agree to meet.

Vastis is still apprehensive about meeting and requests the boy send him more pictures in suggestive poses, the boy complies.

Still, Vastis hesitates.

"Probably best to wait a while, the risk is so much worse for me than for u [sic]."

The boy later sends Vastis a video showing him masturbate, which Vastis said was "smoking hot." The boy sends a handful of more videos over the course of the next few weeks.

Vastis makes the boy swear he will not tell anyone, but agonizes over meeting him. The teen then sends him a video showing a boy around the age of 10 engaging in sex acts.

The most recent chat took place on July 13. Vastis never met the teen in person.

Police do not believe the disgraced teacher was ever a risk to his students, according to the documents.

In a statement, the school district said it is fully cooperating with authorities.

Vastis faces 15 years in prison if convicted, and remains in federal custody.

Also on AOL:

Church Settles Massive Sex Assault Abuse Lawsuit Out Of Court

Related links:
N.Y. assistant principal admits to changing his son's grades
Child expelled from school for mom's Facebook post
Teen arrested for waving rubber phallic object at people

Join the discussion

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dave216m August 28 2014 at 10:29 PM

"if convicted" What the hell is wrong with you people running this story before there is a conviction? Ever hear of innocent until proven guilty? This could turn out to be all concocted by the student, and while we wait to find out you have totally destroyed this mans life on unproven allegations.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
12 replies
moochelleboochelle August 28 2014 at 10:49 PM


Flag Reply +11 rate up
14 replies
seancaliman August 29 2014 at 1:53 AM

Ok I get it, he's an older man and the kid was only 16....However I don't think he deserves jail time and here is why. The kid was 16 and had sent the man explicit messages and images. The kid also said he was into older men. There had also been thousands of messages exchanged between the two for over a year. That sounds like a consensual relationship to me. In the second paragraph it says he forced the minor to send pornographic images and videos, but until it is clear how he "forced" the kid to, I stand by my opinion, of their relationship being consensual. Why couldn't the kid simply stop talking to the guy, or block him? Unless the man blackmailed the kid, there is really no way he could have "forced" the kid to send anything. The story would be different if he were sexually abusing his students, but that is not the story. John was even a well regarded teacher. It is evident that he did no harm to anyone, and had no bad intent with his actions.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
9 replies
coopdabomb August 29 2014 at 7:04 AM

You just got to love them fkn gays...

Flag Reply +8 rate up
4 replies
elkhartbiker August 29 2014 at 8:41 AM

Child porn has to be one of the most disgusting and despicable crimes ever, ranking right up there with animal abuse. Guilty parties ought to be locked up forever.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
singerpianoplayer August 28 2014 at 9:53 PM

homosexuality is a mental illness

Flag Reply +6 rate up
11 replies
Tom August 29 2014 at 8:02 AM

Throw away the key...

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
uriahheep7275 Tom August 29 2014 at 10:15 AM

That teenager should be locked up too!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Janice August 28 2014 at 11:09 PM

Does he know when he's in jail, he will be the bending over. How they find a horse for him.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ram4131 August 28 2014 at 10:11 PM

Well, looks like YOU will now be the student-- being "educated" by psychos more your own age.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Janice August 28 2014 at 11:08 PM

I am so sick of this sick F's. Get his face out the address and get people out side his home. sorry for his family, but this should happen so when others do this they will know how their families will suffer.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
4 replies
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