Porn case: Former Oberlin teacher had Facebook pics, mom says


By Valerie Urbanik and Jason Hawk



File photo Jacob Garlock is seen here in a photo taken last fall at Eastwood Elementary School.


“You don’t know who to trust,” said a mother whose nine-year-old daughter was victimized by a former Oberlin teacher.

Jacob Garlock, 27, of Sterling, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after an FBI probe and will be sentenced Feb. 18 by Judge Christopher Boyko in U.S. District Court, Cleveland.

Garlock was hired in July 2012 and taught first grade at Eastwood Elementary School. He was allowed to quietly resign at the end of last school year after authorities launched an investigation into his online activities.

The board of education didn’t make the teacher’s troubles public — and according to one mother we interviewed, didn’t even tell parents.

Jenny, which is the name we’re using to protect the identity of her daughter, said agents knocked on her door this past summer.

They showed her photographs of her child, who we’ll call Miranda, in her pajamas. The images were zoomed and cropped to highlight the girl’s underwear through the fabric of her clothing.

Another picture showed Miranda in the bathtub.

“It’s very disturbing. The worst part, he was my daughter’s first grade teacher. We became friends on Facebook and everything,” Jenny said.

That’s how the pictures came to be in Garlock’s possession, she told the News-Tribune. It didn’t happen in his classroom — the pictures he had came from Miranda’s third grade year. “I feel like I failed her because he viewed our life on Facebook,” she said.

In fact, Jenny had volunteered in her daughter’s class, spending many hours at the school and growing comfortable around Garlock.

“He was a nice person but goofy,” she said. “I never thought anything of it.”

Jenny said the FBI agents claimed to have pictures of other children taken from Garlock’s computer and cell phone. But how many may have been victimized is unclear, even to Oberlin Schools superintendent David Hall.

Garlock’s resignation came just before Hall was hired in the wake of former superintendent John Schroth’s death.

Hall said the resignation was based on “a mutual understanding” because there had been allegations — but those were not based on a child pornography incident to the best of his knowledge.

Firing Garlock was not an option because he’d not yet been charged or otherwise proven to have violated the school district’s code of conduct, Hall said.

The superintendent said he is “pretty sure” parents were notified of the situation once child pornography charges were leveled at the former teacher.

Even he has been left largely without information on the case against Garlock.

Hall said he does not know how many students were involved in the case: “It was not something released to us. They did a further investigation at the bureau. They call us when they need us and after that they inform us of everything going on.”

Garlock was indicted in October and entered a not guilty plea in November. Later that month he entered a guilty plea, according to court records.

He posted $25,000 bond. His lawyers argued for his release, telling the judge he’d permanently resigned his Ohio teaching license, cooperated with investigators, took full responsibility for the crime he committed, undertook group psychological counseling, and regularly attends 12-step meetings.

Even with a conviction, Jenny said the anger doesn’t go away — and neither does her fear. With Garlock released, she is afraid the family could run into him at any point.

Warning Miranda of that danger is difficult, because the girl knows a little about the situation but doesn’t fully understand it. “She knows he’s in trouble and he’s not allowed to be a teacher anymore,” Jenny said.

She told Miranda that if she ever spots Garlock she needs to walk the other way and call home immediately.

“I went through a lot with her to understand he’s not a good person anymore,” she said.

Jenny has been so shaken by the case that she does not allow anyone to photograph Miranda anymore. And she’s also removed most of her former Facebook friends, keeping almost exclusively to family these days.

“Even though it happened last year it’s still so fresh,” she said.

Federal law as of 2012 could allow Garlock to be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography of a minor under the age of 12.

Valerie Urbanik and Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @ValUrbanik and @EditorHawk on Twitter.

File photo Jacob Garlock is seen here in a photo taken last fall at Eastwood Elementary School.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2016/01/web1_JacobGarlock.jpg

File photo Jacob Garlock is seen here in a photo taken last fall at Eastwood Elementary School.

By Valerie Urbanik and Jason Hawk

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