Former West Aurora High teacher facing child porn charges

WHEATON (STMW) - A longtime math teacher at a west suburban high school is behind bars after being charged with production and possession of child pornography, though officials do not believe any of his students were victimized.

Sixty-one-year-old Robert Lee James of Aurora was arrested Thursday by Aurora police and charged with two counts of producing child pornography, Class X felonies; and six counts of possession of child pornography, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office. He also faces one count each of indecent solici­tation of a child and sexual exploitation of a child.

James worked as a math teacher at West Aurora High School from August 1985 until he retired in June 2014, according to Tony Martinez, spokesman for West Aurora School District 129.

Prosecutors charge that sometime before August 2015, James “produced multiple images of child pornography, and has been in possession of multiple photographic images depicting children younger than 13.” The charges also allege that he “exposed himself to a child he knew and solicited a sexual act from that child, who was younger than 13 at the time,” a statement from the state’s attorney’s office said.

Martinez said there is “no indication that students or former students” of James were victimized; and no evidence that any illegal activities took place on school grounds.

The charges were not a factor in James’ retirement; and there were no “incidents or red flags” during his tenure with the school, Martinez said.

James appeared in court Friday in St.. Charles, and bond was set at $300,000. Should James post the required $30,000 bail to be released, he is to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, prosecutors said. His next court appearance was scheduled for Jan. 15 before Circuit Judge John Barsanti.

If convicted of the most serious charge, James faces a minimum of six years in prison, and would have to register for life as a sex offender, prosecutors said.

The case remains under investigation and anyone with information should call Aurora police at (630) 256-5500, or the Kane County Child Advocacy Center at (630) 208-5160.

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