BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– A Depew man is facing multiple charges after being caught with child pornography.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on June 28, 2021, the FBI received information regarding Richard W. Scherer, 70, from a group known as Predator Poacher. The group has several online accounts that pretend to be minors and chat with adults who later meet for sexual contact.
A member of the group made contact with Scherer on Instagram between April and June 2021, with Scherer believing the member was a 13-year-old girl. During those chats, which became sexual in nature, Scherer mentioned he was a teacher and taught sexual education in the past. A planned meeting was set at a retail store on Amherst Street in Buffalo.
When Scherer arrived, the group confronted him for about 58 minutes, during which he allegedly admitted that he is a pedophile. The Buffalo Police were called following the interview.
A search of the defendant’s cell phone recovered two images of child pornography. He was arrested and charged 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.
According to a complaint, Scherer also communicated with a purported eight-year-old girl through Predator Poacher, during which the communication became graphic.
Scherer was a teacher for approximately 25 years in Maryland. 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 says the student stated that when Schere 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.”
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.” Scherer’s teaching certificate was later revoked.
Members of the public who have information related to this case are asked to call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 716-843-1680.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.