Following the arrest of a teacher in a child pornography and sexual assault investigation, police believe there may still be other victims and are encouraging them to come forward.
“They need to be assured that they are not alone, that we could provide them with the assistance that they need and that their community supports them,” Detective Constable Joel Manherz said, at a news conference at police headquarters on Feb. 29. “Some victims may believe that what happened to them will have no impact on the case. But that simply is not true. There is power in numbers, both in corroborating other victims’ allegations and, should we reach that point, sentencing,” he said.
Last November, officers responded to call for a man allegedly viewing child pornography on a public computer at the Employment and Social Services Centre at Lawrence Square.
On December 16, investigators from the Service’s Child Exploitation Section executed a search warrant in North York and arrested Stephen Joseph Schacter, 55, of Toronto.
Manherz said police learned during their investigation that the accused was a teacher for grades two and three students at Eitz Chaim schools from 1986 to 2004. He also worked as an office administrator, student supervisor, supply teacher and manager of the aftercare extended program for the United Synagogue Day School from 2004-2006.
Schacter was also a grades one and two teacher assistant at Pleasant Ave. Public School in 2004 and a private tutor for two years up until 2011.
“Evidence uncovered by police indicate there had, in the past, been allegations that he was sexually inappropriate with persons under age 18, including students,” said Detective Constable Joel Manherz. “As a result, a press release was issued on December 18, 2015 that included his picture. That release led to three victims coming forward to police who were allegedly abused in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s alleged he had ready access to these children as a result of his teaching positions and status in the community.”
On February 24, Schacter was arrested for a second time and charged with gross indecency, two counts of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-8500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.