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Yockel pleads guilty in child porn case

by Sarah Morris - Copy Editor
Tue, Apr 3rd 2018 10:00 pm

In November 2017, a faculty member of the Brockport Central School District, Roland Yockel II, 31-years-old, was arrested and charged with receipt and distribution of child pornography.

The following article contains information about child pornography that some may find disturbing.

A now former kindergarten teacher at Ginther Elementary School, Yockel possessed 5,500 pictures and 247 videos of child pornography featuring young girls between the ages of 5 and 8 who were sexually interacting with adult men, which were labeled “PTHC” (pre-teen hardcore), on two external hard drives and several DVDs, according to The Democrat and Chronicle

The police searched Yockel’s house, which he shared with his parents, and found stolen children’s underwear under his mattress. According to The Democrat and Chronicle, the underwear came from the girls’ backpacks that went to the summer camp he worked at and was used “as a prop to facilitate masturbation.” 

Yockel claimed he never touched any of the children at the camp or any of his students, but he admitted to having sexual thoughts about them. He admitted, though, that he specifically liked a girl who was under the age of seven that his mother babysat and would play with her, kiss her and move her clothing so he could see her genitalia, according to Channel 13 WHAM.

Yockel was caught after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwheuna, Digital Exploitation Team worked together on a case that related to chatstep.com, an internet application that allows people to “chat” with strangers and send pictures to each other anonymously without having to create an account for themselves. Much like the popular app Snapchat, Chatstep doesn’t save the conversations or pictures. Though the site is meant to be for those 18-years-old or older, meaning there is adult content, children are easily able to access the app. 

According to an undercover federal agent and reporting by Channel 13 WHAM, Yockel himself used the site under the alias “Ryancba,” who posted links to and pictures of child pornography. Yockel claimed that he used his HP laptop, Chatstep and Yahoo messenger to trade child pornography, which Yockel told the federal investigators he was addicted to.

When Yockel was first arrested, the school district released a statement: “While we have no reason to believe that the arrest has any connection to his employment with the district or that student safety was compromised, we remain committed to upholding our core belief of providing a healthy, safe and secure learning environment.”

Some parents were asked what their initial thoughts were regarding the incident when Yockel was placed on administrative leave.

“Honestly, I was really surprised, I was sick to my stomach, I just wanted to cry,” said a parent of one of the children in an interview with Channel 10 WHEC. “I couldn’t wait to have that talk with my son to see if anything happened to him.”

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