Former Montgomery Co. teacher faces federal child porn charges

A former Montgomery County schoolteacher who taught in Silver Spring, Maryland, for 25 years is now facing charges of enticing a child and possessing child pornography in New York.

School leaders were aware of inappropriate behavior when 70-year-old Richard Scherer was working in Maryland and recommended his teaching license be revoked, according to investigators.

Federal prosecutors say they learned of Scherer from an amateur group, Predator Poacher, which conducted an online sting of the former teacher.

In its YouTube video, someone with the group asked Scherer why he was discussing sex with users he thought were young girls. He had arrived at a shopping center in Buffalo, New York, with the intention of meeting a 13-year-old girl.

Scherer, who used to work for MCPS as an English as a Second Language teacher, is charged with enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography.

Online MCPS school newsletters and a teachers’ retirement group show Scherer worked at Broad Acres Elementary in Silver Spring, which has since been renamed JoAnn Leleck Elementary School.

The federal investigation found Scherer’s teaching license was revoked, and he resigned after the MCPS superintendent learned of allegations of misconduct involving a student in 2011 and brought it to the state superintendent.

In a release announcing Scherer’s charges, the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Western District, James P. Kennedy Jr., wrote that his office obtained a report and other records from the school system.

According to that report, the parent of a fourth-grade student went to the school in June 2011 and reported to the assistant principal potential inappropriate behavior. The parent said her daughter told her that when the teacher had lunch with a particular student, “he pulls her to him and hugs her, that he has patted her rear end and hips, and that he pressures her to each lunch with him.”

The parent also said her daughter and the daughter’s friend were often pressured to eat lunch with Scherer.

In September 2011, the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools sent a letter to the State of Maryland Superintendent of Schools stating: “… This is to notify you that Mr. Richard W. Scherer, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools, resigned after notice of allegations of misconduct involving a student. I recommend that Mr. Scherer’s certificate be revoked.”

Scherer’s teaching certificate was subsequently revoked, according to prosecutors.

It does not appear Scherer ever faced charges in Maryland. MCPS did not return WTOP’s request for comment.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call the FBI at 716-843-1680.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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