Seattle Academy has terminated a science teacher facing charges he used his school laptop to obtain child pornography.

“This news disturbs and profoundly saddens all of us at Seattle Academy,” said Head of School Joe Puggelli in a Nov. 22 news release. “Mr. Cronin was a trusted teacher and colleague. The fact that he was so well-regarded deepens our shock and distress.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a report from Gabriel Cronin’s cousin on Nov. 12 stating the former teacher had been viewing child pornography for years, and two days later that tip was forwarded to Seattle Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office last week. Cronin’s cousin reportedly told investigators the former science teacher and robotics program leader is addicted, and she was compelled to report him due to his profession. Cronin had taught at Seattle Academy for more than a decade.

ICAC Task Force detectives interviewed Cronin on Friday, Nov. 17, according to charging documents, and the he allegedly admitted to have been seeking therapy for the addiction for three years before changing therapists.

The complaint states Cronin said he had never inappropriately touched any kids, admitting he struggled with his porn addiction while on a school trip to Zambia. He said he was willing to take a polygraph exam to confirm he had not inappropriately touched any children from the private Capitol Hill school.

Cronin allegedly told investigators he uses The Onion Router to find child pornography and then deletes it afterward, the complaint states.

A forensic examination of Cronin’s work laptop revealed hundreds of thumbnail files, the complaint states, including those from a Ukraine-based studio that was raided in July 2004. The girls were determined by ICAC to be between 8 and 15 years old.

Cronin was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and appeared in U.S. District Court the next day.

Seattle Academy placed him on administrative leave on Nov. 20, and then announced his termination two days later.

“Mr. Cronin’s arrest affects our students and community on a profound level,” said Rob Phillips, Associate Head of Schools, in the Nov. 22 news release. “Our highest priority at Seattle Academy continues to be the safety and well-being of students.”

The school is making counseling staff available to students and staff.

Cronin Complaint by branax2000 on Scribd