Former Racine middle school math teacher, volunteer at school in Kenosha accused of possession of child porn

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KENOSHA COUNTY — A former Racine middle school math teacher, who recently volunteered at a school in Kenosha has been criminally charged — accused of possession of child pornography.

The accused is 68-year-old Thomas DeFazio of Kenosha. He faces 10 felony counts of possession of child pornography.

A criminal complaint indicates in September of 2015, a special agent reached out to the principal at All Saints Academy in Kenosha regarding one of the school’s volunteers — Thomas DeFazio and his alleged activity on Facebook.

DeFazio assisted in fourth and fifth-grad classrooms, according to the complaint. The complaint also states DeFazio used to be a middle school math teacher in Racine.

The principal indicated around Labor Day, a member of the school’s administrative staff advised the principal that she had information regarding DeFazio. That person said there was inappropriate activity on DeFazio’s Facebook page. He was liking and commenting on what appeared to be inappropriate images, this person reported. A parent of a student at All Saints Academy contacted the school and made a similar complaint, investigators say.

The school’s principal spoke with DeFazio, who admitted it was him liking and commenting on images, and requesting to be friends with the girls depicted in the images on Facebook. The complaint indicated DeFazio said he “believed his actions were wrong, so he went to confession because he was trying to get it under control.”

The complaint indicates DeFazio told the principal that he believed all of the girls depicted in the images were 18.

DeFazio was advised by the principal that until further notice, he could not volunteer at All Saints Academy.

The complaint states that after the conversation with the principal, DeFazio spent four hours on Facebook before deactivating his account.

The special agent and a digital forensic examiner responded to DeFazio’s home.

DeFazio told them he was not sexually interested in children, and believe the girls in photos he was liking and commenting on were 18 or older.

DeFazio allowed them to take his laptop and his desktop for a forensic preview.

While the analysis was being conducted, the complaint indicates DeFazio told the investigators about his 31-year career as a math teacher at McKinley Middle School in Racine and his retirement in 2003. He said he spent time volunteering at the United Hospital gift shop in Kenosha and at All Saints Academy — in the library and in classrooms.

The complaint indicates investigators found DeFazio had been searching for preteen and child models, and had “numerous videos” of children clothed on his computer. DeFazio told investigators he looked at the videos and images “out of curiosity.” He stated that he has utilized the term “teen model” to look at girls in costumes, and said he didn’t believe this constituted child pornography.

DeFazio agreed to let the investigators take two hard drives from his desktop computer to Madison for a full forensic analysis. The complaint indicates he said there would not be any child pornography on his hard drives, but said he may have downloaded images from Facebook — but he “got rid of the not good stuff right away.”

A forensic analysis revealed “numerous erotica images of children and images of child pornography,” according to the complaint.

DeFazio made his initial appearance in court in this case on September 28th. Cash bond was set at $5,000 — and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for October 7th.

He can have no contact with any minor children under the age of 18, no contact with schools where minor children attend, no use of the internet, no use of social media, and no possession of devices with internet access. He cannot take part in any volunteer work that would involve contact with minors under 18.

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