Investigators told newsnet5.com that a complaint about an Oberlin teacher’s foot fetish helped uncover a stash of child pornography on the teacher’s personal computer.
Jacob Garlock, 27, was sentenced to 57 months in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to child pornography charges in November.
Oberlin Superintendent David Hall confirmed that Garlock was a first grade teacher at Eastwood Elementary from 2012 until his administrative leave and resignation in May of 2015.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the investigation began when a first grade student returned home from school one day in February 2015 and told her mother that Garlock had taken her to a separate room and asked to take pictures of her bare feet.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Sullivan told newsnet5.com that the incident, while disturbing, did not violate any laws.
“It’s certainly not a federal violation and I’m not aware of any state violation,” Sullivan said. “But was clearly inappropriate.”
The complaint was forwarded to the FBI and agents from the Crimes Against Children Unit visited Garlock at his home.
FBI Special Agent Tim Kolonick told newsnet5.com that investigators discovered pornographic photos on Garlock’s person computer.
“The images that they found were of children under the age of 16, but they were not affiliated with the school in any way,” Kolonick said.
Garlock was charged with possession of child pornography. According to the plea deal obtained by newsnet5.com, he pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography in a document signed Nov. 18.
Garlock’s attorney argued that the root of his client's crime was “his sexual fixation or obsession or fetish with feet.”
Garlock admitted that he had been privately wrestling with this foot fetish, which had been getting increasingly pronounced, for a number of years.
He was taken into the custody of U.S. Marshals following his sentencing this week.