CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Richard W. Scherer, 70, of Depew, NY, was arrested and charged by complaint with enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who handled the case, stated that according to the criminal complaint, on June 28, 2021, the FBI received information regarding the defendant from a citizens group known as Predator Poacher, which maintains a website and YouTube channel. The group maintains several online accounts that purport to be minors of various ages, using the accounts to chat with adults who later meet for sexual contact. These contacts are recorded, the individuals interviewed, and the videos then posted to the group’s platforms. A member of the group made contact with Scherer on the Instagram account richard_scherer. The defendant believed the member was a 13-year-old girl. The communications between the two were sexual in nature and culminated with a planned meeting at a retail store on Amherst Street in Buffalo. When Scherer arrived, the group confronted him outside the store and interviewed him for about 58 minutes, during which he allegedly admitted that he is a pedophile. The Buffalo Police were called following the interview.
Subsequently, investigators accessed Scherer’s communications with the purported 13-year-old girl, which occurred between April and June 2021. During those communications, which became graphic and sexual in nature, the defendant mentioned he was a teacher, who taught sexual education in the past. On June 27, 2021, Scherer arranged to meet the purported 13-year-old girl the following day, and when he showed up for that meeting, the defendant was confronted by members of Predator Poacher. The final text from Scherer was “I’m here.” According to the complaint, the defendant also communicated with a purported eight-year-old girl through Predator Poacher, during which the communications also became graphic and sexual in nature.
Scherer was a teacher for approximately 25 years in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. A report obtained from the school system during the investigation stated, “On June 13, 2011, the parent of a 4th grade student, [redacted by MCPS], came to the school and made a report to an assistant principal about some concerns she had regarding possible inappropriate behavior by Mr. Scherer while interacting with students.” The report stated that the student related that when the defendant has lunch with a particular student, “he pulls her to him and hugs her, that he has patted her rear end and hips, and that he pressures her to each lunch with him.” The parent advised that her daughter and the daughter’s friend are often pressured to each lunch with Scherer. In September 2011, the Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools sent a letter to the State of Maryland Superintendent of Schools. The letter stated, “this is to notify you that Mr. Richard W. Scherer, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools, resigned after notice of allegations of misconduct involving a student. I recommend that Mr. Scherer’s certificate be revoked.” The defendant’s teaching certificate was subsequently revoked.
A search of the defendant’s cell phone recovered two images of child pornography.
Members of the public who have information related to this case are asked to call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 716-843-1680.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Stephen Belongia, Special Agent-in-Charge.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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