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More Arrests Possible In Case Of Teachers Aide Child Porn Suspect

FBI agents are on the trail of possibly hundreds of child porn suspects, thanks in no small part to the computer of a former elementary school teacher's aide who is himself facing a variety of child porn charges.

Taleek Brooks, 41, told FBI agents that he used his more than 1,000 computer files of child porn to pleasure himself. Agents also say that at least two of those files feature Brooks in sexual situations with children in classrooms at his school, P.S. 243 on Dean Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Now, those agents check to see who Brooks may have been working with to make and distribute his child porn.

In their criminal complaint, investigators said Brooks engaged in peer-to-peer, or P2P, child porn file sharing. The feds actually first identified him as a child pornographer when Brooks agreed to let an undercover FBI agent download a child porn file from him, and now, P2P may help to nab other child pornography suspects.

"Technically, when you share peer to peer," computer forensics expert Joe Caruso told PIX11 News, "You give access to the people in your peer network to just download, or even upload files to your computer." Caruso, a senior member of GlobalDigital Forensics, has solved some of the world's most complex computer crimes over his 15-year career.

Caruso points out that a computer user like Taleek Brooks has to have peers in order to engage in the peer to peer file sharing of smut. Those peers are who agents try to figure out as their investigation continues. Some of those peers may potentially be close associates of Brooks. Whoever they may be, they were actively involved with Brooks's computer activity.

"They had access to his files, they could have downloaded or uploaded them to his machine," Caruso said, "So they were very much trading files."

Finding them may take some time, if Brooks's case is any indication. Agents arrested him on January 13th, and confiscated his computer equipment. He posted $100,000 bail. Last Monday, investigators arrested Brooks again after, they say, finding the videos on his computer of him committing sex acts with children as young as 10 years old.

Brooks's case, however, also demonstrates that detailed investigative work leads to solid evidence. The additional evidence found may also lead to other suspects.

Meanwhile, more possible victims are coming forward. Zacaryta Brown, a mother whose two sons went to P.S 243 until she withdrew them after last school year for reasons unrelated to Brooks, told PIX11 News that her younger son, 8, had said to her that Brooks "hit [him] in the private and then slapped [him] in the butt when he rejected him from helping him with his classwork."

Brown also said that her older son, 10, had told her that he, too, had been handled aggressively in a sexual manner by a teacher other than Brooks. Brown told PIX11 News that she has now called an FBI tips line whose number was provided by the school. The FBI has said in published reports that it has received more calls in the past two days.

The FBI tips line number is (212) 384-2700.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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