A married Catholic high school teacher was caught allegedly posing as a woman on Facebook and befriending his male students as he tried to get them to send him explicit photos.
Zachary Reeder was a history teacher at Servite High School in Anaheim, California and he was caught by local police as part of the catfishing scam.
Reeder, 30, is married and has a young daughter, but that didn’t stop him from engaging in the obscene online scheme.
He reportedly used a picture of an unidentified young, white female with blond hair to lure the boys in on his false profile.
The local ABC affiliate reports that police found that Reeder had contacted several boys via the social networking site, the youngest of which was 14-years-old.
He has since been arrested for possession and distribution of child porn and lewd conduct.
‘After establishing increasingly inappropriate relationships with the victims online, Reeder would convince them to take sexually explicit photos of themselves and send them to him,’ police from the City of Irvine said in a press release.
He reportedly began the explicit hoax two years ago, though police feel that it never went into the real world as he is not believed to have had any physical contact with any of his victims.
He has since been fired from his role as a social sciences teacher and the school put out a statement to calm nervous parents.
‘Please be assured, our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students,’ an official from Servite High School told OCVarsity, a sports site catering to California’s Orange County.
Reeder has worked as a history teacher at Servite High School since 2008 and served as the assistant baseball coach at nearby Beckman High School for four years before that.
‘Detectives are investigating the possibility that Reeder targeted victims to befriend through his employment,’ they wrote in the statement.
Police have been in touch with administrators from both schools during the investigation and they continue to publicize the case in hopes that any other victims will come forward.
The case comes less than a month after Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o was revealed to have been the alleged victim of a similar catfishing scheme where a young man virtually posed as a young woman and started up a relationship with the athlete.