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School 'Shocked' by Child Pornography Charge Against 6th-Grade Teacher

Teacher at local Yeshiva had hundreds of explicit images showing minors, FBI alleges.

A sixth-grade teacher at Yeshivat Noam in Paramus was in custody Thursday after FBI agents found hundreds of videos and images depicting child pornography on his home computer, according to authorities and court documents. 

Based on a tip, agents Monday went to the Manhattan apartment of 26-year-old Evan Zauder and found the explicit images, according to federal authorities. Agents discovered graphic videos on Zauder's bedroom computer showing young boys engaged in sex acts, a federal complaint said.  

One video found on Zauder's computer showed a boy potentially as young as 7-years-old, according to the complaint.

“As a teacher, Evan Zauder was supposed to help children not, as alleged, contribute to their exploitation," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. "Protecting children from harm is an important priority shared by our office and the FBI, and we will continue to work tirelessly to pursue and prosecute individuals who prey on the innocent.”

A letter to parents from Yeshivat Noam Principal Rabbi Chaim Hagler did not name Zauder, but said a faculty member had been suspended after the school learned he was arrested for alleged possession of child pornography. 

"We were shocked, and of course saddened, to learn of this arrest," the letter said. "At this point, we have no reason to believe that any of our students are in any way involved or directly affected."

The Modern Orthodox school, which serves students from Teaneck and elsewhere, is cooperating with the investigation and is prepared to provide counseling services, Hagler said in the letter. 

"The faculty member is new to our school this year, and, as is our routine practice, was the subject of extensive interviews and received multiple positive background references," the letter said. 

Zauder has a history of working with young people and studied education at New York University. He is a former youth director at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck and a former part-time youth director at Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York City. 

"This news is upsetting, however at this time we have been reassured there is no evidence of any further misconduct," said a statement released by the Institute's Executive Director, Richard Langer. He would not comment further. 

Zauder left a master's program at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development in 2010, according to school spokeswoman Courtney Bowe. She could not say why he was no longer a student. 

Yeshiva University spokesman Mayer Fertig confirmed Zauder was a student at the school's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. 

"Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) is saddened and dismayed about the serious nature of the allegations against one of our students. While only allegations, the actions they represent are at complete odds with Torah values and ethics and with the mission of this institution," a statement from Fertig said. "RIETS will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our campus and students, which is and will remain our first priority."

The statement said RIETS would cooperate with investigators and offer any needed assistance to its community. 

Zauder appeared in court Wednesday and was being held pending a bail hearing. He faces one count of possessing child pornography. The charge could bring a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Zauder's attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday night.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the investigation was continuing.

Last updated 8 a.m. Friday. First published 3:32 p.m. Thursday. 

Mom of NJ May 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Mr. Lutz bravo for your comment. This is not a Jewish, Christian matter. They are not the perfect chosen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are all God's children and He loves us equal....period. The fact is that these sickos are just that sick in the head, no rehab for them. So please don't turn this into a "fake Jew" issue. There are sickos in all religions. Look at that sicko in NY who killed that little boy and he was a fellow Jew. Enough!!!!!!!!!!
Josh Hosseinof May 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM
In this case one might need to question how extensive a background search was performed by the school that hired him. In a relatively short period of time searching through google one can find this individual's AIM (AOL instant messenger) chat handle, and searching based on that AIM handle would have raised some immediate red flags for any school considering hiring him. Professional background check services would have caught this instantly.
Dee Are May 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Josh do you have any information that he was engaged in inappropriate chatting? The article simply points to pictures and videos on his computer, neither of which would come up when one searches a handle. Did you do such a search? Have you passed your findings to the authorities? I have yet to see a followup on this article reflecting these facts.
E.Blinick May 06, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The internet did not bring child pornography to us. It made it easier for the perpetrators to enjoy their perversions, and it made it easier for the rest of us to find them. Like any technology, you can use it to do good or to do evil.
shimon baum May 09, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Background checks only check on criminal records they obviously can not predict the future. Common sense will tell you that pedophiles with no records will most likely be attracted to work that involves children. Was there a way to weed this guy out? Sadly not really he wasn't going to volunteer his interests. The question is did anyone he worked with pick up on any creepy or inappropriate behavior if so they should have volunteered it immediately. Sadly there really isn't that much to do because most pedophiles are not drooling monsters that anyone can see they look and act just like you or me.
Josh Hosseinof May 10, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Look as I said previously, his AIM handle, ezrider1234567, was posted publicly by him for several years on the Internet. Proper background checking means more than just checking for criminal records and asking for references. A real background check would have found his AIM handle in less than 5 minutes of Internet searching, and from there search results that should have raised instant red flags for any school considering hiring him.
shimon baum May 10, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Figures the scumbag wasn't even smart enough to come up with a different email. Also what is the point of saying the school is shocked in the headline. I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting one of their teachers to be charged with child porn.
DMAB6395 May 11, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Josh I agree with you. In this time & age of tech they could find out anything. For those who say oh they couldn't pick that up with a background check. You would be surprised what they can find out in a background check, they knew where you shop, what you buy, what kind of freakin' tampons you buy or your wife, or girlfriend buys. So to say that they couldn't find out what he searches for on the internet is a joke. Not only that how can they say that no students were affected by this? This investigation has just started, parents are going to be talking to their children about this to find out if anything has happened to them. I pray that no one was harmed by this, I hope that no child has been traumatized by this. And for the record since people are bringing religion into this~ I could give a crap if he's Jewish, Catholic or a Baptist what he did was wrong & he should be punished for this.
Zelda Lowenstein May 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Hello, all you good people who have written comments. I do not know Evan or his family personally, but I heard of this through one of the affected communities. Firstly, don't knock a man down when he is already down. This is the standard in Jewish communities as well as in non-Jewish communities. As fellow Jews, not only should he be judged favorably until you know ALL the relevent facts and, not only if he proven guilty, but the law itself must be examined. Is the law just? U.S. law is enacted by people. Laws can be unjust. Jews in Europe were put into concentration camps only because they were Jews. Yet It was the law. Children can be protected without knocking a fellow Jew down.
JAD May 13, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I'm not a jew so I am still welcome to point out the disgusting nature of those who look a child porn as well as those who try to imply that the child pornography laws are in ANY way unjust. He is not a victim here, his predatory behavior is what has caused peoples views of him. Nothing else. I'm sure the "gentleman" who was looking at child porn is a swell guy deep down inside and is totally not deserved of his knocking.
DMAB6395 May 14, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I am not taking anything away from the Jewish community & especially those who suffered during the holocaust, but I am so sick & tired of it being brought up every single time something happens to a person who happens to be Jewish. Religion has nothing to do with the fact that this person was looking at pedophile pornographic pictures on his computer & that he teaches little children. So all of you that are playing the race card, just shut-up & listen to the facts because that's all we care about. We don't care if it's a Jewish man, if he's a Catholic man, or a Buddist who's purple with pink polka dots. Get over it already & listen to the facts that are being presented. A grand jury will listen to the facts to see if there is a case to go to court, if so then he will be judged by 12 of his peers-not by you, or I unless we are sitting on the jury.
Zelda Lowenstein May 20, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Checking to see if comment goes through.
Zelda Lowenstein May 20, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I have had trouble sending a comment. I apologize that I couldn't answer sooner. I realize I should not have used the Shoah as an example. I was not playing any "card" at all. We all hope that laws made by Congress are fair and just. I too hope that they are. I think, however, that we can't take it for granted that all laws passed are just or that legislators are aware of all of a law's provisions. Some laws that are passed have excellent intentions but its provisions are unworkable or don't achieve the hoped-for goal. Prohibition was one of them. The Rockefeller drug laws seem to be another. I was urging everybody to become informed--to find out what laws were used to make the arrest in Zauder's case and to keep in mind what charge the person is accused of and what sentence is mandated if he is found guilty. I regret if I hurt anyone. That wasn't my intention at all. I agree that this subject could very well make a TV segment of an hour or two. Zelda Lowenstein
JAD May 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Find out what laws were used in this case??? Are you serious, he has VIDEO and PHOTOS of CHILDREN engaging in sexual acts, believed to be as young as 7. You are back peddling now, and doing a poor job of it. You stated to examine the law itself to see if it is a just law (or something of the sort as it appears you are doing damage control and edited your original post) and threw in there that pedophiles are the equivalent of Holocaust survivors (both jewish as well as non jew, you did only specify jewish victims but I will give you the benefit of the doubt you meant all of them) because they are both just victims of "man's law". I'm sure my husbands grandmother would love to hear that witnessing her fathers death and subsequent time spent in a labor camp were bear a similar burden to what this pedophile is going through as they were both just hapless victims of "man's law" You're initial posting would lead NO ONE to believe your words had anything to do with fear of a lenient sentence. Bottom line is this man is a human who committed a disgusting indefensible crime.
Zelda Lowenstein May 21, 2012 at 07:38 PM
JAD, I agree with your last sentence except for one item. 'This man is a human wno VIEWED PICTURES of a disgusting indefensible crime.' Do you believe there is no difference between viewing a picture of a crime and committing that crime? I hope not, for then we all go to jail for watching murder movies. If you re-read my original post calmly you will see that I was using the laws during the holocaust as an example of a time when horrible laws were passed legally.. I'm not backtracking on that. I am saying now that I ought not to have used the Holocaust as an example because it arouses such strong emotions. in so many people. I might have used Prohibition or the Rockefeller drug laws as an example. In no way was I saying or implying that pediphiles are equivalent to Holocaust survivors. By the way, a person who looks at pictures of children being abused sexually is not necessarily, a pedophile. The work 'pedophile' is a recently-coined word referring to someone who has sexual desire for a child not only thought but in action with a living child. ( I hope we are not advocating having thought police). I only know that the person arrested here was found with pictures or videos on his computer. I have read or heard nothing about reports or complaints of inapproprate contact. There are millions of 'child porn' sites and millions of viewers every day. They are not all pedophiles and almost all do not molest children.. Check recent studies.
JAD May 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I can't fathom your line of thought. It's somehow better to view pictures of child pornography than to commit the act itself? Seriously? Regardless of if he's engaging in the physical act or not he is why the child porn industry exists, he's either directly or indirectly the cause of children being sexually abused and exploited. I'm not sure what recent studies you are trying to site here but a pedophile does not have to engage in an act to be labeled as one. Having a sexual interest in a prepubescent child garners them that title on it's own. You seem to be trying to say your not defending this pedophiles actions all while defending and excusing this pedophiles actions. I'm not sure how familiar you are with mental health issues but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone within the field who would even remotely try to normalize or minimize pedophilia as you are. I think you may be seeing what you want to see within those studies for whatever reasons you may or may not personally have. Watching a movie simulating a murder is a far cry from watching a movie where an actual murder is being committed. Oh and for the record, snuff films are illegal. I am thoroughly disgusted that in this day and age anyone would try to defend a person who is looking at child porn. I can read any of your posts as calmly as I can, they still add up to you being somehow okay with this "man" watching child porn. Regardless of my emotional state, a sentiment I would NEVER agree with.
DMAB6395 May 21, 2012 at 09:10 PM
The term pedophile is defined as: pedophile |ˈpedəˌfīl|(Brit. paedophile ) noun a person who is sexually attracted to children. ORIGIN from pedo-1 + -phile. If you are WATCHING children being sexually abused & it arouses you you are a pedophile. It says that you are sexually attracted to children it does not say that you have sex with children
Zelda Lowenstein May 23, 2012 at 04:59 PM
To JAD, do you want a a reference to the mental health studies? You continue to attrisbute words to me that I never said. It is you who wants to believe what you want to believe, never mind the evidence.
Zelda Lowenstein May 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Just a correction in spelling. The word is attribute.
JAD May 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Give me one thing I have attributed to you that you have never said. Please I'll wait, just one example of me placing words in your mouth. You are attempting, through multiple routes, to lesson what this "man" has done. First in a weak attempt to blame man's law then by some how trying to rationalize that looking at images of children engaging in sexual conduct by the holocaust comment. Then by stating that the "man" should be somehow looked more kindly upon because he was only looking, and then created your own definition of the criteria to label one a pedophile. And lastly that viewing a movie with a simulated murder is the equivalent of viewing actual child porn. Please I would love a link to a peer reviewed published study that states seeking, storing and viewing images of child pornography does not garner one the label of a pedophile. Also please show me in said study where it states that society should view these people as non threatening. Perhaps you have difficulty articulating yourself; perhaps you do, in fact, know this man and are trying to strum up sympathy; perhaps you are a victim of similar crimes and have a skewed view these scenarios; or just you don't disagree that this is a horrible crime. Regardless I can't see changing your point of view as you seem to have formed the opinion that it's just not that bad to look at kiddie porn.
Zelda Lowenstein May 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
JAD, All your questions can be answered and I'm sorry to say I can't do it with the restrictions on the number of characters we are allowed in this space. Also, my sister has been admitted to the hospital. The phone hasn't stopped ringing and I need to call the doctors. I am grateful to "The Patch" for providing this forum which, I believe, is now at a better level. Some, but of course not all, of your questions can be answered by accessing the reports of the Public Hearing Before the U S. Sentencing Commission on Child Pornography Crimes (Feb. 15, 2012) especially reports of the Victims Advisory Group. If you put that in Google, you should be able to get links to these reports. This is the last time I plan to post anything on this topic at this site. Thank you for the opportunity to engage you in this conversation.
JAD May 25, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Yep, so no peer reviewed published studies and frankly nothing that has a thread of what you are "arguing" for, or against. I honestly can't follow your moving target argument anyway. I do,however, say with all honestly that perhaps you should reevaluate your statements and contemplate how they differ from society as a whole and more importantly, why. Your views on the further victimization of children in these images by subsequently forgiving those who view it, is horrifying to put it lightly. Good luck with all your personal dilemma's, they seem to be staking up against you rather quickly.
JAD May 25, 2012 at 04:13 AM
staking=stacking
DMAB6395 May 25, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Zelda, All though I don't understand some of your arguments or agree with them I do hope that your sister will be alright. I hope she will make a quick & full recovery
JAD May 25, 2012 at 10:36 PM
DMA, Though it seems your comment was deleted from here I was lucky enough to get it into my email. Please do not place intent behind my words as being harsh,or as you put it, pompous (I'll refrain from the remainder of your classy wording). I truly do with her well in all she has going on and can sympathize when multiple things seem to happen at once, or "stacking up". I'm honestly at a loss how you found malicious intent behind that? As for the rest of your statements, you apparently did not read the documentation. These were not peer reviewed studies but more so testimony of some studies without back up data and methodology to substantiate the findings. I did read and responded as such. Below is just an excerpt of the testimony that is direct opposition to her claims. "MS. von DORNUM: Just so the record is 5 clear, I certainly did not say that anyone had 6 testified that a large proportion of child 7 pornography offenders were not pedophiles. What I 8 said is that the testimony was certainly from 9 Dr. Seto that there's a very low rate of recidivism. 10 And that's exactly what he testified to this morning. 11 Not that they're not pedophiles, but that they don't 12 recidivate." Please stop from making baseless assumptions about myself as well as my intent.
DMAB6395 May 26, 2012 at 03:22 AM
JAD-I'm not going to argue the point with you-but if you read over your comments-it seems that you are being "pompous" more than concerned about her "personal dilemma's, they seem to be staking up against you rather quickly". Either way enjoy your weekend.
JAD May 26, 2012 at 01:27 PM
DMA, I cannot stop you from placing emotion behind my words, you read them as you see fit. I chose to respond to her posts in a normal fashion and express concern at the end of my statement. Perhaps I was wrong in assuming it was not a life altering emergency she was posting about but more normal day to day issues that come up. I would think one wouldn't take time out during something hugely important to post to strangers on a message board hence why I thought it would be fine to respond to the topic at hand. Either way, I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of this sunny weather. My kids and I have literally climbed the walls being stuck inside for some many days in a row.
Keith Kaplan June 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Zelda said "I agree with your last sentence except for one item. 'This man is a human wno VIEWED PICTURES of a disgusting indefensible crime.' Do you believe there is no difference between viewing a picture of a crime and committing that crime? I hope not, for then we all go to jail for watching murder movies." You clearly have no idea, so let me introduce you to the difference. As the Sherman Court has noted (United States v. Sherman, 268 F.3d 539,547) "child pomography directly victimizes the children portrayed by violating their right to privacy."..... [c ]oncem for the welfare of the children who are used to create pomography is part ofthe public concem over child pomography." As the Norris Court has noted (United States v. Norris, 159 F.3d 926,929-30): 1) the abuse is perpetuated through dissemination 2) the existence ofthe image is an invasion ofthe child's privacy, and 3) the demand for the creation of more images is created by the consumer "Indeed, one of the reasons for criminalizing the 'mere' possession of child pomography is to create an incentive for the possessor to destroy the material, and alleviate some of these harms to the children depicted." The FBI keeps records of the statements from the victims they identify in cases like these. Read this one and tell me if you still think that it's just the same as "watching" a movie with a murder in it?
Keith Kaplan June 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM
From a victim: "I am 19 years old and am living everyday with the horrible knowledge that someone somewhere is watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them. I am a victim of the worst kind of exploitation: child pom. Unlike other forms of exploitation, this one is never ending. Everyday people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways. They don't lmow me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain ..... I feel like I am being raped by each and every one of them. What are they doing when they watch those videos anyway? They are gaining sexual gratification from images of me at ages 10 and 11. It sickens me to the core and terrifies me. Just thinking about it now, I feel myself stiffen and I want to cry. So many nights I have cried myself to sleep thinking of a stranger somewhere staring at their computer with images of a naked me on the screen. I have nightmares of it.
Keith Kaplan June 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I have this overwhelming undefined fear that sweeps over me. This is for the biggest part because of the men who are downloading the pictures and videos of me. My father, who did the abuse, is now locked up and I have some peace in knowing that he can never hurt me again or hurt anyone else. I don't know that about any of these other men. For each of them, it is true that I don't know him; I don't even know what he looks like. And, it may seem strange, but the not knowing is a big part of what causes me such problems. What is so frightening is that I could have walked past him any day on the street and not know that he would have had seen me being raped as a little girl, and enjoyed my pain and humiliation. Any one of them could be around me and I would not even know it." THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE THAT TRAFFIC IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND THOSE THAT VIEW A MURDER IN A MOVIE. Real people are still being victimized by those that commit these heinous crimes. There's a reason we, as a society, don't condone "just viewing" it.

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