Former Wheeler High School teacher charged with receiving child pornography

HAMMOND, Ind. –Brian Kunze, a former Wheeler High School teacher, was charged by criminal Complaint with receiving child pornography announced the U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

According to documents in the case, Kunze, 31, used his position of authority as a teacher to coax one of his minor students into taking and sending him sexually explicit photos of herself.

According to a press release, digital forensic examination of devices seized by federal law enforcement agents from Kunze’s home also revealed that he knowingly obtained sexually explicit photos of other minors who attended the school.

“Use of a position of authority to betray the trust placed in a teacher by his student is a very serious offense for which my office will hold all perpetrators accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Kirsch. “Individuals, who seek out sexually explicit images of minor children, will be investigated and prosecuted by my office.”

When asked for a comment on the charges and allegations, Union Township School Corporation's Superintendent John Hunter said in an email, "Union Township Schools have high expectations for ethical behavior in our Corporation among all individuals working with our students. We do everything in our power to uphold those standards. The school system received information regarding an incident, immediately contacted authorities, held our own investigation and took the actions we felt appropriate. Mr. Kunze has not been associated with Union Township Schools since the incident was reported. We have cooperated fully with the investigation."

"Mr. Kunze was employed as a high school teacher in our social studies department August 2012 until termination May 2019," Hunt added.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the help of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster.

Anyone with information about Kunze or his alleged crime is encouraged to call the Merriville office of the FBI’s GRIT Task Force at 219-942-4900.

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