The former principal of a Springfield elementary school and Boy Scout leader is charged with having hundreds of images of child pornography on his home computer.
Prosecutors charge Gary Edward Rademacher, 54, with ten counts of possession of child pornography. Rademacher was principal at Rountree Elementary School, and most recently taught 8th grade history at Jarrett Middle School. He also was a local Boy Scout troop leader, according to court documents.
Investigators say the pornographic images were discovered in January when Rademacher took his computer hard drive to a local computer repair business for work. Employees of the store found the images in the course of performing diagnostics on the equipment, and notified police.
Officers searched that hard drive and another computer in Rademacher's home. According to court documents, the officer who examined the home computer found 1,346 images and 12 movie files of suspected child pornography involving children, mostly boys, believed to be 12 to 15 years old.
One of the movie files involved a boy who would have been 12 at the time of the taping, court documents said.
Investigators say Rademacher admitted downloading the images from the internet. The police investigation eventually identified 225,628 images on Rademacher's computer and storage discs along with 520 movie files.
Rademacher retired/resigned from the school system on January 31 of this year, just 9 days after police served the search warrant at his home, said R-12 superintendent Dr. Norman Ridder. Ridder said Rademacher has not been in a classroom since then.
R-12 records show Rademacher changed schools 9 times in this three decades of teaching in Springfield. Ridder said it was unusual for a teacher to move around that much, but could not comment about why Rademacher's career took him
to so many schools. His history with R-12:
McGregor Ele - 1977-1981
Robberson Ele - 1981-1986
Williams Ele - 1986-1993
Reed Middle School - 1993-2000
Cherokee Middle School - 2000-2001
Rountree Ele (principal) - 2001-2003
Pipkin Middle School - (ass't principal) 2003-2004
Weaver Ele - 2004-2005
Jarrett Middle School - 2005-Jan. 31, 2007
Rademacher, according to police investigators, was Scout Leader for Boy Scout Troop 31 in Springfield. Dean Ertel, executive director of the Ozark Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said he was not notified of the investigation against Rademacher until Friday, when he was told of the charges. Ertel said Rademacher's registration with the local Council was immediately pulled.
Russell Dempsey, assistant Greene County Prosecutor, said it was no coincidence that charges were not filed against Rademacher until Friday, the day after R-12 classes dismissed for the summer. Dempsey said the charges were delayed to allow Rademacher's children to finish out the school year before the case became public.
Read the criminal charges and court documents filed in this case here . (pdf)
(photo: Greene County Sheriff's Dept)