INDIANAPOLIS — An elementary school teacher from Illinois will spend the next 50 years in federal prison after engaging in sexual acts with young boys including a child from Hancock County.
Pedro Ibarra, 48, of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, was sentenced on Monday to half a century behind bars for sexual exploitation of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.
According to court documents, Ibarra began chatting online with the boy from Hancock County on June 21, 2021, using Google Duo. Police said the Hancock County boy was under 13 years old at the time.
Ibarra persuaded the child to engage in sexually explicit conduct, authorities said, which Ibarra recorded on his cellphone. On June 22, 2021, Ibarra drove from Illinois to Hancock County where he picked up the boy and took him to a local hotel. Court documents reveal Ibarra engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the child, recording the criminal acts on his cellphone.
Police revealed that during the investigation other footage was found on Ibarra’s cellphone including recordings of Ibarra engaged in sexual acts with another child later identified as an Illinois boy under the age of 15.
“The heinous sexual abuse of these children is every parent’s nightmare. These tragic crimes reiterate that those who seek to sexually exploit our children online and in person are often the people parents and children should be able to trust,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “
The United States Department of Justice said that at the same time Ibarra was committing these crimes he taught elementary school at a Chicago Public School. He reportedly had been teaching at the school for more than three years.
As part of Ibarra’s sentencing, he was ordered to serve probation for life following his release from prison and ordered to pay $30,000 to each of his victims. Ibarra will also be required to register as a sex offender.
“The significant sentence imposed today shows that federal, state, and local law enforcement will work together tirelessly to identify child sexual predators and send them to prison where they belong,” Myers said.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department reported having Ibarra in custody within hours of the child filing a report with police.
“Communities place a tremendous amount of trust in teachers, and when someone in such a position commits crimes of sexual exploitation, it is a reminder of how vigilant we need to be in looking out for our children,” said Detective David Wood with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana State Police assisted the sheriff’s department in investigating the case.
“Those who perpetrate crimes against children in Hancock County and throughout the State must know that we will do everything within our power to protect our kids and hold offenders accountable,” said Aimee Herring, Hancock County Chief Deputy Prosecutor.