Jack K. Pickup / photo from McHenry County Sheriff's office
A former northwest suburban middle school teacher has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child for engaging in explicit sexual text and computer messages with a 15-year-old girl he met when she was a 7th grader.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s office was notified by the parents of a 15-year-old girl, a former student of Jack K. Pickup, after they discovered he was communicating with their daughter via computer and text messages, a release from the sheriff’s office said.
Pickup, of Barrington, was a teacher at Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines when he met the girl, police said. Since 2011, he had an online relationship with her, and began text messaging with her when she graduated 8th grade.
He gave the girl his phone so that they could remain in contact after she graduated, sheriff’s police said.
Around June 24, 2012, Pickup began “sexting” with the victim, police said. During one of those conversations, he allegedly transmitted a picture of his exposed genitals.
After intercepting those messages, investigators gathered background information and arrested him at his parent’s home in Barrington.
Pickup was charged with grooming, a Class 4 felony, and sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Bond was set at $10,000 for Pickup, who is scheduled to appear in court on July 9.
“The parents of this victim should be commended for monitoring their child’s online and texting conversations,” Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said in a statement. “We encourage parents to maintain vigilance and continue to remind their children of the possible dangers of social media. Any suspicious relationships should be reported to the local police.”