A former Little Rock, Arkansas, teacher’s assistant pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to three counts of the production of child pornography after being indicted by a grand jury in 2021.
Augustus “Gus” Shenker, 22, was arrested in May 2021 after the Federal Bureau of Investigations received a tip about seven child pornography videos being stored in an online directory. The location in which the videos were stored was created by a person whose email address contained Shenker’s first and last name, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Arkansas.
The FBI discovered that Shenker was a teaching assistant at Miss Selma’s School, an early education school with students from 18-months-old to fifth grade.
The agency received a search warrant, executed a search of Shenker’s home and seized his cell phone. He admitted to having a problem with child pornography years prior, but claimed he no longer viewed the material.
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Shenker also told investigators that he had established the online storage, the attorney’s office said.
The school said in a statement that it was cooperating with investigators and that Shenker was no longer employed.
Authorities located six videos from Shenker’s home, which were created in March 2021, that showed Shenker inappropriately touching children in a school classroom.
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A hidden folder was also found on Shenker’s phone that contained 19 videos also recorded at the school. Thousands of images of child abuse were also discovered on Shenker’s phone and other devices, according to the attorney’s office.
A grand jury returned an indictment against Shenker on June 1, 2021, for 22 counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Shenker pleaded guilty to three counts of production of child pornography on Tuesday.
He is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. According to court records, the minimum sentence for his charges is 15 years and the maximum is 30 years with five years of supervision upon release, which will require him to register as a sex offender.