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$1M bond for teacher in child porn case

SYCAMORE – Bond was set at $1 million Tuesday for a St. Charles middle school teacher and coach who told police he has been collecting child pornography for about two years.

Jerome McCauley, 45, of the 300 block of Grant Street in Sycamore, was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography Monday after police searched his home. He acknowledged having between 1,000 and 1,500 images and five to 10 videos of child pornography, some showing 12-year-old girls, court records show.

In order to be released from jail, McCauley would have to post $100,000 bail.

McCauley, who coaches volleyball and teaches seventh-graders at Wredling Middle School in St. Charles' School District 303, was placed on paid leave Monday morning, District Superintendent Don Schlomann said. School officials said they secured an iPad and computer McCauley used as a teacher and cooperated with local police.

Police began the investigation in August, when a Sycamore detective assigned to Internet crimes found an IP address associated with someone who may have possessed child pornography, police said.

After a series of subpoenas and search warrants, police recently connected McCauley to the child pornography, police said. McCauley collected the material in a file-sharing program that allowed other users to download it, police said.

Appearing in DeKalb County Court on Tuesday morning, McCauley was appointed a public defender. When Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert asked if he was employed, he replied: "At this point, yes, but I doubt very long."

If convicted of the most serious charge he faces, McCauley would be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison. He has no criminal record, but Stuckert ordered that he have no contact with children or the Internet if he posts bond.

McCauley is next due in court Nov. 13.

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