Brooklyn teacher who convinced NYC children to send him graphic sex videos gets 20 years in federal prison


A popular Brooklyn English teacher will spend the next 20 years in federal prison in a horrific child porn case where he tricked several young, vulnerable girls into sending him sexually explicit photos and videos.

Jonathan Deutsch, 38, was found guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court last year of multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

A March 23 filing by federal prosecutors described his interactions with four young girls in stomach-churning detail. One victim, 13, was struggling with her gender identity, and confided in him that her ex-partner had killed himself. Another was just 10 years old, and he posed as a 14-year-old boy to get her to send him pictures.

He convinced the children to perform acts so disturbing that Judge Frederic Block said the trial testimony has haunted his dreams.

“It’s so graphic in nature,” said the 88-year-old jurist, who was appointed to the federal bench in 1994. “If it stuck with me, what impact it has on the victims I can only imagine.”

One of those victims spoke out before the sentencing, who said she was the subject of abuse and belitlement before and after meeting him online. She confided in him, and he preyed on her, she said, and she’s had to spend months at a time in a psychiatric facility in the aftermath.

“It destroyed me. It has messed up my mental state,” she said. “When I need to say, ‘I’m not OK,’ I can’t say it because I don’t know who I can trust.”

Prosecutors sought a 35-year sentence, while Deutsch’s lawyers asked for the mandatory minimum of 15 years behind bars. Federal probation officials suggested 25 years.

“Notably, the defendant actively sought out children who he knew would be particularly vulnerable, searching for LGBTQ+ children who were more likely to be in need of acceptance and love,” the prosecutors wrote. “The defendant exploited, degraded and abused these young children for his own selfish reasons, and he continues to show no regard for the damage he caused.”

Deutsch’s arrest in 2018 stunned students at the Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Manhattan Beach, on the east end of Coney Island. Many of them told the Daily News they considered Deutsch the best teacher at the school.

Deutsch, who was released on bail in June 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic left federal trials in the lurch, was ordered locked up again after the June 2022 verdict.

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