All Saints principal: FBI may contact parents about photos
By Patrick Lohmann
March 22, 2016
|A photo of All Saints Elementary School on Wilbur Avenue in Syracuse. A school aide Emily Oberst, 23, was fired Monday after being charged with sexually exploiting a 16-month-old girl.|
Photo by Dennis Nett
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The principal of All Saints Elementary said in a statement Tuesday that the FBI may be contacting parents of students regarding photos that could be connected with a federal investigation into a part-time aide at the school.
Principal Rosalie Pollman also said she is praying for the parents of the aide, Emily Oberst, "who are being told of other crimes their daughter has (allegedly) committed."
Oberst, who was fired by the school, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly allowing a 40-year-old man, Jason Kopp, to exploit a 16-month-old girl. Oberst, 23, of Syracuse, and Kopp, of Liverpool, were charged this weekend with sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child pornography.
Pollman would not say anything further about what the photos were or what they might have depicted or what "other crimes" Oberst may have committed. She said she could not comment because of an ongoing investigation and stressed that she was speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the elementary school.
"My heart aches for my parents and my teachers at All Saints. Now they have to anxiously wait to see if they will be contacted by the FBI that their child or student is in a photo," she said. "My prayers are also for Mr. & Mrs. Oberst who are being told of other crimes their daughter has (allegedly) committed."
Janet Oberst, Emily's mother, is also an employee at the school. Her name and number were removed from the All Saints Elementary School website as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Parents were told in an email late Monday that the FBI was looking into whether students at All Saints Elementary were somehow involved in her "criminal activity", according to the email.
The school offers a "Catholic curriculum" to its students but is not associated with the local Catholic Diocese.
Oberst began volunteering at the school at age 15, according to biographies on the website that have since been taken down. She worked as a part-time school aide who worked with students ages 3 and up in an after-school program, parents said.
Pollman's full statement
"My heart aches for my parents and my teachers at All Saints. Now they have to anxiously wait to see if they will be contacted by the FBI that their child or student is in a photo.
My prayers are also for Mr. & Mrs. Oberst who are being told of other crimes their daughter has (allegedly) committed.
It is appropriate that when I have been informed that ASE students may be victims, it is Holy Week. So I'm taking the example of Christ carrying His cross and asking Jesus to give me strength.
My hope is that we can continue to do our job of educating these beautiful chiildren as effectively and successfully as we are at present."