Bronx Science Teacher Arrested for Paying Teens for Nude Photos

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Jon Cruz.

A Bronx High School of Science history teacher and debate coach has been arrested for soliciting nude and otherwise suggestive images of underage boys. The New York Times reports that (with the help of a photo of a former student) 32-year-old Jon Cruz posed as a teen online and used gift cards to compensate two New Mexico 15-year-olds and one upstate New York 14-year-old for illicit selfies. (The New York Post reports that the authorities learned of Cruz’s activities after the parents of one teen found the conversations on their son’s computer.) Cruz reportedly admitted to requesting and paying for those pictures, as well as asking a current Bronx Science kid for a non-naked photo in exchange for a present.

Cruz has been charged with production of child pornography, receiving child pornography, and possessing child pornography. He’s being held on $1 million bond. Meanwhile, in an email to Bronx Science families, principal Jean Donahue said that Cruz, who started working at the school in 2006, “has been reassigned from the school at an alternate location where he will not be in contact with students.”