A former Seattle schoolteacher was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 18 months in prison and ten years of supervised release, announced First Assistant United States Attorney Helen M. Brunner. GABRIEL CRONIN, 42, a former teacher and robotics coach at Seattle Academy was arrested in November 2017, following a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). When questioned by Seattle Police CRONIN admitted he had viewed child pornography on his school provided laptop. At today’s sentencing hearing Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said CRONIN is “a highly educated and highly intelligent man who understands the damage that occurs to these victims, especially in the internet age… His actions contribute to that ongoing market that creates new sex abuse victims all around the world.”
According to records filed in the case, a relative of CRONIN called NCMEC when she learned that he was in therapy for an addiction to child pornography. Because of his employment as a teacher, the relative was concerned CRONIN was a risk to children. The investigation revealed CRONIN possessed 117 images of teens engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images were downloaded from the internet. The investigation did not reveal any instances where CRONIN pursued sexual interactions with minors.
Speaking to the court CRONIN said what he did was “extremely perverted and reprehensible…. My actions contributed to ongoing harm to kids…. I should have left teaching. My actions were sick and selfish.”
CRONIN was fired from his employment following his arrest and will be required to register as a sex offender following his release from prison. CRONIN also must pay a $5,000 fine.
Chief Judge Martinez reiterated that CRONIN had tried to do “everything possible to take the right steps” following his arrest, and noted that there was “no evidence of any kind that he had any hands-on contact with any children at the school or in his neighborhood.”
The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson. Ms. Gregson is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation cases in federal court