Explicit dress-up photos led to porn charges against ex-kindergarten teacher

Posted June 17, 2011, at 6:23 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Former kindergarten teacher Rob Mocarsky kept a lot of costumes in his classroom at Forest Hills Consolidated Schools in Jackman so the 5- and 6-year-olds in his care could pretend to be pirates and fairy princesses. Often Mocarsky photographed the children playing dress-up with a school-owned camera and hung the photos up in the classroom.

The teacher, however, played favorites. Mocarsky asked four girls over two school years to stay after class and pose for some very different portraits, snapped with the same camera as the others. These pictures were not seen by other pupils playing dress-up. The teacher kept them all to himself, or so he thought.

These photographs are the reason Mocarsky will spend between 15 and 30 years in federal prison.

Mocarsky, 41, of Jackman waived indictment Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor and pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ordered that the former teacher be held without bail pending his sentencing, expected to be scheduled in six to eight weeks.

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“We’re glad this event is coming to a close,” said John Davis, superintendent of Regional School Unit 82 in Jackman. “We’re sorry that he found his way to do what he did. We’re glad that justice is being done, but there’s no reason to celebrate. He left behind a lot of victims.”

Mocarsky’s attorney, Robert E. Sandy Jr. of Waterville, said that it was important to keep in mind that Mocarsky’s actions did not involve a sexual act, did not involve force and no images were transmitted via email or an Internet website.

“Mr. Mocarsky, by making that plea, hoped to ensure that neither children, nor their families, nor staff at the school would have to face further proceedings, meaning a trial,” Sandy said.

The prosecution version of events to which Mocarksy pleaded guilty revealed details about the nature of the photographs, discovered in December after a parent complained to the principal that her 5-year-old daughter had been photographed inappropriately while the girl was dressed in a mini-skirt and halter top.

Investigators found photographs on an external hard drive at Mocarsky’s home that showed four girls, referred to in the prosecution version as Minors A, B, C and D, “engaging in lascivious displays of their genitals.”

Two of the girls were photographed in bikinis with the bottoms wedged in private areas, according to court documents. Mocarsky had the two others dress in fairy costumes — one blue, the other pink — without their underwear.

The focus of every photograph, according to the prosecution version of events, was each girl’s genitalia.

Two of the pupils in the photos were in Mocarsky’s class during the 2007-08 school year, and the other two he taught during the 2008-09 school year. The pictures taken in 2010 that alerted police to Mocarsky’s illegal photographs did not include the one taken in 2010 that led investigators to charge the teacher in March.

Although child pornography produced outside of Maine was found on Mocarsky’s computer, there is no evidence that he uploaded and shared the images he took of his former pupils, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mocarsky faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for production of pornography and a fine of up to $250,000.

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