Prosecutors: Former substitute teacher/daycare worker now facing federal child porn charges | WHEC.com

Prosecutors: Former substitute teacher/daycare worker now facing federal child porn charges

Jennifer Lewke, Patrick Moussignac, WHEC Staff
Updated: November 24, 2021 05:29 PM
Created: November 24, 2021 12:29 PM

MT. MORRIS, N.Y. (WHEC) — A former substitute teacher in both the Batavia City School District and the Dansville Central School District is facing federal child pornography charges.

The Western District Court of New York Wednesday announced Derek Hagen is now charged with producing, receiving, distributing, and possessing child porn, which carries a minimum of five, and a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Hagen was initially charged by State Police with two counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child back in July. The July arrest was based on a September 2020 cyber tip from Snapchat that a user uploaded child porn images to a group chat.

Hagen was later identified by police as that user. Since his arrest, investigators said they have found roughly 50,000 child porn images and videos between two confiscated computers and a cell phone from Hagen's apartment. They say Hagen was "actively producing and distributing" the porn through online chats.

“We have positively identified three children, two in Batavia and one that's located near Brockport that were hands-on sexually abused by Mr. Hagen," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi told News10NBC.

Hagen worked at the Brockport Child Development Center from May 2018 until July 2019. and Rossi says some of his victims were there.

"They were children whose diapers were being changed at the Brockport Childhood Learning Center or children that he was responsible for helping to learn how to use the bathroom," Rossi said.

The victims were young.

“The age range that he produced child pornography for was generally between one and six from what we can tell and what we've identified so far, they were children that were utterly dependent on him… they were children whose diapers were being changed or children that he was responsible for helping to learn how to use the bathroom,” Rossi said.

Rossi said Hagen was in charge of babysitting some of the victims.

"There were scenarios in which he was either babysitting these children, and they were sleeping at his home which point the alleged sexual abuse occurred, and was photographed, or videotaped," Rossi said.

Hagen worked in the Batavia School district as a substitute teacher from November 2019 until March of 2020 and had been employed by the Dansville Central School District during the 2020-2021 school year but was not employed at the time of his arrest. He has also worked at the Pembroke Central School District.

Investigators ask anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact Homeland Security, that number is 716-464-6070. You can also send an email to hsibuffalotips@ice.dhs.gov.

The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children helped with the investigation, and Kathy Gust said it will continue to help parents.

"Even if a parent wants to call and just have that conversation of 'I'm not sure if my child was a victim what should I do?'" Gust said. "How should I handle the situation? In our Family Advocacy Division is more than happy to have those conversations."

For help talking with your kids about possible abuse, click here, here and here.


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