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Published: Wednesday, 5/22/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

TPS teacher pleads guilty to child porn

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A special-education teacher for Toledo Public Schools said he was looking for information about the Russian version of the B-1 bomber one night when he found himself on a Russian Web site that offered more than military information.

“I went to the home page, and they had different tags, and the tags were military, country, vacations, flowers, and, yes, pornography,” Bruce Omlor told U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary. “Being 48 at the time, I wanted to see what it was, and I clicked it.… That’s how it started coming up.”

On Tuesday, Omlor, now 50, of Toledo pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography on his home computer. He faces five years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 10 by Judge Zouhary.

Gene Crawford, an assistant U.S. attorney, said an investigation in California by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that pornographic images, including a video showing a 10 or 12-year-old boy masturbating, had been sent to email addresses in Toledo belonging to Omlor in November, 2011.

On April 25, 2012, investigators searched Omlor’s home and seized his computer as well as compact discs and DVDs with “numerous images of child pornography.” Mr. Crawford said Omlor told officials he exchanged child pornography via several email accounts.

Before finding Omlor guilty, the judge asked him when he viewed the images and why. Omlor, suspended from teaching since April, 2012, said it was mostly on weekends or late at night in his basement, never at school. He said, when asked, that he “never, never” engaged in sexual activity with minors.

"So what attracted you to online viewing of minors engaged in sexual activity?" Judge Zouhary asked him.

“That is what I don’t understand, your honor,” Omlor said. “It’s one of those psycho things that just isn’t making sense to me. I don’t know why I did it.”

Omlor, a TPs teacher since 2000 and an eight-year Marine veteran, told the court he took full responsibility for his actions and “knew how wrong it was.”

John Potts, attorney for Omlor, said after the hearing that the illegal activity was in no way related to his teaching job. “Mr. Omlor is accepting full responsibility for conduct that took place on his own personal computer in the privacy of his own home,” Mr. Potts said. “There is no allegation that any of this affected his employment or the students that he taught.”

Patty Mazur, TPS spokesman, said Omlor is on unpaid suspension. The district will review his status “pending the final ruling of the court," she said.

Judge Zouhary allowed Omlor to remain free on bond until sentencing.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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