Teacher Caught in Internet Sex Sting

Teacher Caught in Internet Sex Sting

A Bronx history teacher who lived and coached basketball in Queens has been charged with attempted rape and other offenses after being caught trying to meet with a 14-year-old girl he had been talking to online who was actually an undercover police officer, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Jonathan Blum, 27, of Whitestone was arraigned last Friday evening on charges of second-degree attempted rape, second-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted disseminating indecent material to minors, and attempted endangering the welfare of a child. Blum posted the $10,000 cash bail.

According to the charges, Blum posted an ad on Craigslist seeking a young teen, student, and/or young girl who would be interested in messing around with a licensed real teacher. An NYPD vice detective who was acting in an undercover capacity as a 14-year-old girl from Queens responded to the ad. Soon thereafter, Brown said, Blum allegedly initiated an e-mail and text-message exchange with the person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. Between April 13 and May 14, Blum on numerous occasions allegedly sent sexually explicit messages using the screen name JESS_DELIA@YAHOO.COM and his cell phone. After several messages, he allegedly expressed a desire to see the teenager in person and was arrested after meeting with an undercover, who was portraying the girl, at a prearranged place in Queens.

“This case underscores the crucial importance of Internet surveillance initiative by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators and should serve as a warning to parents to closely monitor their children’s Internet access and activities,” Brown said. “Despite numerous publicized arrests for exactly this type of alleged behavior, sexual predators continue to be relentless in searching the Internet for victims. Do not let your child become one of them.”

Blum’s next court date is scheduled for June 24. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison and will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Any parent whose child has conversed with the email address JESS_DELIA@YAHOO.COM and has concerns or suspicions is encouraged to call the Queens District Attorney’s office at (718) 286-6260.


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