A former substitute teacher from Erie County, N.Y. who used Instagram to request nude photos of a male teen from Warrenton, and other minors, has pleaded guilty.
Steven Gasiorek, 36, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., pleaded guilty in April in federal court in New York to receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.
The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, a maximum penalty of 40 years, and a $250,000 fine.
Gasiorek is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 28, 2022, according to a release over the weekend from Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.
On February 28, 2019, a FCSO deputy took a report of suspicious online activity involving a minor in Warrenton. The incident was reported by the 14-year-old’s guardian who noticed strange activity on an Instagram private message.
People are also reading…
The activity appeared to be from a 15-year-old female from California containing messages requesting nude photos in exchange for nude photos back. After looking at the activity further the guardian became very suspicious and reported the incident to FCSO.
Detective Dawn Rosenberry took over the investigation. She immediately obtained search warrants for records and information, leading to an IP address outside of Buffalo, New York. The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
Further information obtained through search warrants revealed numerous other victims to include a 12-year-old male from Fauquier County. Rosenberry contacted the Cheektowaga Police Department and teamed up with a local detective assigned to the FBI Child Exploitation Taskforce.
Using the information obtained by Rosenberry, N.Y. authorities conducted an investigation and discovered the 15-year-old California girl was actually a 30-something man from New York.
Gasiorek was a substitute school teacher and a coach from 2014-2019 at John F. Kennedy Middle and High Schools in Cheektowaga, NY.
During that time pretending to be a teenage girl living in California, he used a fictitious Instagram account in the name of LEXIGURL1015 to communicate with numerous minor males and receive child pornography from them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of New York.
Gasiorek knew the victims he was communicating with were minors and he served as a teacher or coach to some of the victims from who he received child pornography, the U.S. Attorney said.
A forensic examination in 2019 of the defendant’s laptop, computer and hard drive recovered images and videos of child pornography depicting many minor males, of which 29 have been positively identified.
The victims lived in Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Virginia, Texas, and Florida. In total, Gasiorek possessed over 600 images and videos of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.