Preschool teacher charged with child porn worked at River Forest school for two days

Previously owned "Daddy Daycare"

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An Oak Park man who was charged with possession of child pornography worked at a River Forest preschool for two days and was never alone with children, the school's president said.

Richard Gertler, 44, was arrested June 4 after investigators found he was using a file sharing program to trade pornographic images, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced Thursday.

Paul Wolfman, president of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, released a statement that Gertler worked briefly at the temple preschool.

"Mr. Gertler worked in the preschool for only two days," a statement from Wolfman said. "During this time he did not have principal responsibility for any children, and he did not spend any unsupervised time alone with any children," Wolfman added. Gertler has been removed from his job, Wolfman said.

Gertler ran a daycare program from his home for nine years and was an assistant baseball coach in Oak Park.  

Berwyn police became aware he was making images of child pornography available through an online file-sharing program.

Police arrested Gertler at his Oak Park home after obtaining a search warrant. They reportedly recovered a laptop computer with more than 300 images of child pornography and an additional 25 printed photographs of naked children.

Gertler is listed online as the former owner of a childcare business called Daddy Daycare at between 2002 and 2011. According to an online resume, Daddy Daycare specialized in the care of special needs children and early childhood education.  A woman who answered the phone at Gertler's address said she had no comment on the arrest.

Wednesday Journal reported in 2011 that Gertler was an assistant baseball coach for an Oak Park Youth baseball team.

Gertler appeared in bond court June 5 at the Maywood Courthouse before Judge Carol Kipperman, who set bond at $250,000. His next court date is June 25. 

This story has been updated to correct the location of West Suburban Temple Har Zion.

CONTACT: jean@forestparkreview.com

Reader Comments

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HP from Oak Park   

Posted: July 5th, 2014 11:11 PM

No update on his June 25 court date anywhere in the media. Seems odd.

RF Minister Accused Sex abuse  

Posted: June 27th, 2014 10:24 AM

A First United Presbyterian of River Forest Minister has been accused of sexual abuse to an 8 yr old minor for 6 yrs. story on cbs 2 news this am. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/06/27/pastor-accused-of-molesting-boy-for-6-years/

Les is Moore  

Posted: June 14th, 2014 3:15 PM

Some might call him a PUTZ

Rabbi  

Posted: June 14th, 2014 12:50 AM

Not proud of this guy AT ALL!!!!!

The Sheriff from Stateville  

Posted: June 12th, 2014 1:52 PM

Should this man get the death penalty?

Violet Aura  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 10:23 AM

OP Rez: You didn't really read what I wrote, did you? The scenario I provided was just regarding gender. I don't live in a fear-based universe but on the other hand, I have street smarts. We profile everyone everytime we look at them. I am not interested in proving anything to you--it is a fact. As for stats about men in daycare, you again missed the point. I am not saying that the majority of men in chilldcare are peds but only that peds like to be in close proximity with children.

Lawer or No Lawyer  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 8:52 AM

Im sure it was just a minor oversight that HE HAD CHILD PORN ON HIS LAPTOP-NOT!!!! Convict NOW!!

not a lawyer  

Posted: June 9th, 2014 8:52 PM

Is this man alleged to have committed these disgusting crimes or already convicted? Is he being tried by oakpark.com comments?

OP Rez  

Posted: June 9th, 2014 7:08 PM

Well, VA, being that blacks are the cause of the majority of crimes in and around Chicago, should we watch our backs whenever we're passing a black person on the streets? Yes, you ARE stereotyping, you can call is common sense if you like, but than you also have to call the above racial profiling, common sense, too. D'oh! So, again, where's the hard data showing the number of male pedos in childcare? Show me the numbers that made you reach your conclusions? Or is it all anecdotal?

Violet Aura  

Posted: June 9th, 2014 6:02 PM

No worries, Joe! I actually laughed at that "non-apology apology" remark. It sucks to be the brunt of a stereotype but it is what it is...In any case, I wish to God that people realized that leaving their kids in daycare is risky business regardless of whether a male or female is taking care of the child! Why have children if you don't want to raise them? I get that some situations are dire and require working, but I just can't see leaving my child with strangers. No way in hell.

Violet Aura  

Posted: June 9th, 2014 5:59 PM

@OP Rez: If a woman is walking at night on the street and a woman is behind her, she will likely be less concerned than if a male is doing so. That is not "stereotyping"--it's surviving and using whatever scant info is present to make a determination about something. And I believe that everyone does it although not everyone admits it. As for men working in early childhood jobs, actually peds DO gravitate towards jobs to be close to kids! He was also a coach! D'oh! How about priests?

OP Rez  

Posted: June 8th, 2014 4:23 PM

VA, another way to look at it is, most child care positions are taken up by women because that's traditionally how it's alway been. Can you tell me what the percentage of males working in the child care industry are convicted pedophiles? Your logic of stereotyping can also be applied to race and crime. Should we then go around stereotyping black people because they, in Chicago, are responsible for the vast majority of crime?

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 7th, 2014 10:20 PM

VA - the previous statement was intended to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, which doesn't translate well over the internet.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 7th, 2014 10:18 PM

VA- Being a male that works with children, I'm sure you can understand why I would take exception when someone paints with an overly broad brush in this area. While I don't dispute that 95% of child sexual offenders are male, it is incorrect to make a statistical inference from a group and apply that inference to the nature of individual members of the group. That kind of thinking is generally not tolerated when it comes to any protected class. None the less, your non-apology apology is accepted

Violet Aura from Forest Park  

Posted: June 7th, 2014 10:41 AM

@Nicko: He looks nice in the picture. We have to separate the pedophile's actions against children from their general behavior. It's pretty tragic all the way around. I don't know if some of these peds are born this way but the others may have had trauma in their childhoods that they are re-enacting and they may have been victims of the very same thing.

Nicko from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 10:07 PM

It's kind of scary how a Pedo would coach my own baseball team. This man is nice and he didn't actually seem like the type of guy that is a pedophile. Well, it is obvious that he is. :|

NeighborToo from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 6:43 PM

I agree with the comments from other neighbors that there was something about him that instinctively made me uncomfortable and that's why I never considered using Daddy Daycare even though it would have been very convenient for me. Parents - always trust your instincts!

Violet Aura from RF  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 4:30 PM

@Joe: No offense to the male gender, but 95% of all sex crimes happen by men. And men are very rarely employed in early childhood--perhaps because of this stat. So the odds are greatly in favor of the man being the sexual predator. However, I do wish to apologize for the broadbrush because I know that all men are not perverts. It's just that most peds are men.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 2:21 PM

The name Daddy Daycare is fine.

Foomer  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 1:42 PM

Where did they get this picture from, do they not have a mug shot? His grin is creeping me out

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 1:17 PM

I'll bite. Violet, why would the name Daddy Daycare be a red flag?

op from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 1:08 PM

This is also an extra reminder that any caution taken by parents goes double for those with special needs kids. Too bad burning at the stake isn't popular anymore.

Neighbor (not NeighborOP)  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:29 PM

@Violet, I am not the one who made the comment -- that was a different "Neighbor" but he was not well perceived. I did not want him around me and went out of my way to avoid him. I feel very bad for his child and his ex-wife. This should not reflect on them. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

OP  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:23 PM

Illinois sentencing guidlines - 10 year min for guilty of distribution with average of 144 months...

Violet Aura from OP  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:20 PM

@NeighborOP: What an odd perception. What does it even mean? HOW was he lazy? HOW was he strange and clueless? Sure you're not projecting? That sounds like this post of yours...

What wrong with people  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:18 PM

scum-bag!

Violet Aura from OP  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:18 PM

I hate to make light of this or broadbrush, but Daddy Daycare sounds like a red flag to me!

Neighbor   

Posted: June 6th, 2014 12:08 PM

He also coached basketball at the YMCA.

Kudos from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 11:56 AM

A great many thanks to all the police involved in catching this guy. Now let's hope the judge does his job correctly and puts this offender away for a VERY long time, and not let him get away with just a slap on the wrist (which is sadly more common than you'd think). People like this have no business living in a society with the rest of us.

Fact checker  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 11:53 AM

The home address given is outdated and should be removed. Also his resume says he graduated from U of I in 1982, so according to this chronology that would have been at the age of 12, if you are relying on info from that resume.

Local Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 11:33 AM

Parents, this serves as a reminder that individuals who prey on children generally seek work and volunteer activities that keep them in close contact with children. Please take time to get to know the people who are close to your children, and be wary of an adult who takes a very "special" interest in your child. We can and must respect professionals and volunteers who have true concern for our children--it takes a village--but it takes educated vigilance, as well.

NeighborOakPark  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 11:08 AM

Words cannot express the true emotions I may feel for this situation. I am this persons neighbor and I have had brief interactions with him for 3 years. I never would've suspected him doing such a thing. I saw him as strange, lazy, and clueless. He always was very supportive of his son. I pray for his child and any of the children who may have been involved in any way. This should bond us as a community to look out for each other a little better. You just never know who you live next door to.

Former neighbor from Oak park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 9:44 AM

This sick man will not make it out of Cook County jail. His time will come very soon. One of the worst crimes a person can do.

Karen from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2014 3:36 AM

I want to throw up. This guy coached little league! So scary.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 10:24 PM

If comments are civil we leave them open. On a story like this, first sign that a very hard situation is being exploited by immature people adding to the dysfunction then we close them. Pretty simple.

C. Jennings  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 10:23 PM

Address and age are off by 10 years. Recently was renting in Oak Park.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 9:58 PM

It seems that Wednesday Journal is breaking with tradition and keeping the comment section open on this one. In before the lock!

KrisG from Oak Park  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 9:41 PM

He lived on the 800 block of N. Cuyler about a decade ago but hasn't since his then-wife divorced him. Don't know where he is living now.

ugh  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 9:02 PM

Here's hoping that he didn't originate any of those images.

See  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 7:01 PM

And a Little League coach to boot.

Ethan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 6:56 PM

This makes me sick to my stomach, but I'm glad that Berwyn and OP Police were so proactive in apprehending this creep.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 4:45 PM

Thank you to Berwyn PD and OP PD.

MattCordtwist from IslandDweller  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 4:45 PM

This article lists him as a 34 yr old but the cook county jail website has him as being born in 1970 making him 44

Chris from Oak Park  

Posted: June 5th, 2014 4:38 PM

This literally makes my skin crawl. Thankful authorities caught him.

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