In a shocking case, a former Preschool Teacher’s Assistant, Augustus “Gus” Shenker, has been sentenced to 90 years in federal prison for producing child pornography. Shenker was found to have abused preschool-aged children in his care at Miss Selma’s School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The FBI received a cyber tip that led to the discovery of seven videos containing child pornography on Shenker’s personal Dropbox account. Further investigation revealed that Shenker had created these videos himself, which depicted him touching the buttocks and vagina of a preschool-age child. In addition to these disturbing videos, law enforcement also discovered over a thousand images of child sexual abuse on Shenker’s phone and other devices. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance in protecting children and the commitment of law enforcement to bring child predators to justice.
Former Preschool Teacher’s Assistant Sentenced To 90 Years In Federal Prison For Producing Child Pornography
The recent sentencing of former preschool teacher’s assistant, Augustus “Gus” Shenker, to 90 years in federal prison for producing child pornography has shocked and outraged the community. Shenker, a resident of Little Rock, was found guilty of creating and possessing explicit videos involving preschool-aged children who were under his care at Miss Selma’s School.
Investigation and Arrest
The investigation into Shenker’s activities began in May 2021 when the FBI received a cyber tip regarding the presence of child pornography on Shenker’s Dropbox account. Further investigation revealed that Shenker had created and possessed seven videos containing explicit material involving young children. Agents quickly identified Shenker and discovered that he was employed as a teacher’s assistant at Miss Selma’s School.
With the identification of Shenker as the suspect, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for his residence. FBI agents approached Shenker at the school where he worked and seized his iPhone, notifying him that a search warrant was being executed at his home.
Details of the Crimes
Upon searching Shenker’s residence, investigators discovered six videos that Shenker had created in March 2021. These videos showed Shenker engaging in inappropriate contact with a preschool-age child in a classroom at Miss Selma’s School. Additionally, a hidden folder on Shenker’s iPhone contained 19 additional videos, all taken within the same preschool classroom.
The victims involved in Shenker’s crimes were preschool-aged children, and the explicit videos showed him touching the buttocks and vagina of these innocent victims. Disturbingly, Shenker’s face was visible in several of the videos, leaving no doubt as to his identity.
In addition to the videos produced by Shenker, law enforcement found more than a thousand images of child sexual abuse on his phone and other devices. During the investigation, Shenker admitted to creating the videos during nap time while working at the preschool.
Shenker was initially charged in a criminal complaint on May 18, 2021, following the cyber tip received by the FBI. On June 1, 2021, a federal grand jury returned an indictment, charging Shenker with 22 counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
In December 2022, Shenker pleaded guilty to three counts of production of child pornography. The case was assigned to United States District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky. During the sentencing, Judge Rudofsky imposed the maximum punishment of 30 years on each count, to run consecutively, resulting in a total sentence of 90 years in federal prison for Shenker. Additionally, he was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release following his incarceration, as there is no parole in the federal system.
Sentencing and Consequences
The sentencing of Shenker to 90 years in federal prison sends a clear message that the justice system will not tolerate the exploitation and abuse of innocent children. By imposing the maximum sentence allowed by law, Judge Rudofsky ensured that Shenker will spend the rest of his life behind bars, protecting future generations from his predatory behavior.
While the sentence serves justice for the victims and the community, it also has profound consequences for Shenker. Not only will he be deprived of his freedom, but he will also carry the stigma of being a convicted child predator for the rest of his life. The impact on his personal and professional reputation is irreversible and serves as a strong deterrent to others who may consider engaging in similar criminal activities.
Public Statement from U.S. Attorney
United States Attorney Jonathan D. Ross expressed gratitude for the maximum sentence imposed on Shenker, stating that it ensures he will never harm another child. Ross emphasized the commitment of the Eastern District of Arkansas to fully investigate and prosecute all child predators, and their collaborative efforts with the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in bringing these criminals to justice.
Statement from the FBI
FBI Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson acknowledged the significant betrayal of trust committed by Shenker, who was entrusted with the well-being of children as an educator. Dawson highlighted the commitment of the FBI’s Little Rock Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force to protect innocent youth from predators seeking to harm them. The FBI continues to dedicate resources and collaborate with other agencies to ensure the safety and welfare of children.
Investigating Agency and Prosecution
The investigation into Shenker’s crimes was conducted by the FBI’s Little Rock Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant prosecuted the case, ensuring that no stone was left unturned and justice was served.
While Shenker’s case stands out due to the severity of his crimes and the significant sentence imposed, it is unfortunately not an isolated incident. The prevalence of child pornography and child exploitation is a persistent issue that law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups strive to combat on a daily basis. Each case serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for vigilance and collaboration to protect vulnerable children.
If you have any information related to child exploitation or suspect someone of engaging in criminal activities involving minors, please contact the following agencies:
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas
- FBI Little Rock
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Together, we can work towards creating a safer environment for children and preventing further harm and exploitation.