BUFFALO, NY - A former Montgomery County teacher was reportedly snared by a citizens group called "Predator Poacher" in Buffalo after they posed as a 13-year-old girl and lured him to what he thought would be a sexual encounter, according to the FBI.
Richard Scherer, 70, of Depew in Western New York was charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography.
Scherer taught in the Montgomery County Public Schools district for 25 years before he resigned amid accusations of inappropriate behavior toward children.
According to police, the group "Predator Poacher" reached out to the FBI about Scherer.
The group used a fake account purporting to be from a 13-year-old girl to contact Scherer via Instagram.
According to police, the communications between Scherer and the person operating the fake account were "sexual in nature." Ultimately, they set up a rendezvous at a retail store on Amherst Street in Buffalo.
When Scherer arrived, the group from Predators Poachers confronted him, and Buffalo Police were called to the scene.
Law enforcement says Scherer also communicated with a person operating an account attributed to an 8-year-old girl. They say those conversations were also "graphic and sexual" in nature.
Investigators looking into Scherer’s past found that he taught in Montgomery County Public Schools for 25 years.
According to their investigation, a report had been made in 2011 when a parent of a 4th-grade student came to the school and reported that some of Scherer’s behavior around students may have been inappropriate.
The report said that in one instance, Scherer pulled a child to him and hugged her. They also said Scherer often pressured their child and her friend to have 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."
After his resignation, Scherer’s teaching certificate was revoked.
If you have information that the FBI might be able to use, call (716) 843-1680.