A Missouri teacher was hosting a 16-year-old exchange student in his home when he recorded a sexual video of the teen, officials said.
Then the teacher shared the video with others, according to the St. Louis County Police Department.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued charges against Joseph Gutowski, of St. Louis, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, according to a news release. The 40-year-old man was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography and second-degree promoting child pornography.
Gutowski, a teacher at Lafayette High School, was employed by the Rockwood School District from August 2006 through December 2022, according to a district spokesperson.
He had set up a video recording device in his home, and when the student was staying with him, the device captured a video of the teen while masturbating, according to a probable cause statement.
The exchange student was visiting from another country, officials said.
The alleged offenses occurred between 2017 and 2020, police said. Authorities did not say how many people the video was sent to.
A spokesperson with Rockwood School District said the district learned of the charges the same day they were filed. She said “there is no indication that the allegations are related to any current Rockwood students.”
“We hold educators and all district employees to the highest standards of conduct, and we are keenly aware of the trust that is placed in us with regard to the safety of our students,” the district said. “We are committed to cooperating with the authorities in their investigation, and we will continue to strive every day to protect the welfare of our students and provide the safest possible learning environment for all Rockwood students.”
All district employees must pass a criminal background check before they are hired, the spokesperson said.
“At this time, detectives have no evidence to suggest any current students are victims of the (teacher),” police said, but authorities “are still processing evidence to determine if there are additional victims.”
The former teacher is in custody on a $250,000 cash only, no 10% bond, officials said.
An investigation is ongoing.
This story was originally published December 20, 2022 5:11 PM.