WDRB [Louisville KY]
February 5, 2024
By Molly Jett
A Louisville Catholic school teacher is facing a federal investigation after being charged with distributing images of child pornography.
Federal investigators said Jordan Fautz, 39, photoshopped images of faces taken from St. Stephen Martyr Catholic School’s yearbook. Fautz was a seventh and eighth grade religion teacher when he sent out child sexual abuse materials to a law enforcement officer who was working undercover online.
On Saturday, St. Stephen Martyr Parish held a parent meeting with representatives from the Archdiocese and the FBI. Fautz was a part-time religion teacher and member of the maintenance staff at the parish for nine years. One year, he was a chaperone on an 8th grade school trip to Washington D.C.
“It’s just a sad thing, especially when it was someone who’s always been kind of involved with the school in some way and kind of grew up in a way it’s just a sad thing to see,” said Aidan Riggs. “You have to come together as community to and look out for those in need and this time and just keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.”
The incidents took place between March 2022 and January 2024. Court documents say Fautz used yearbook photos of students and at least one adult from the school. The distributed images had photoshopped faces of students and the adult onto other nude images.
“It’s hard when you’re dealing with children and information,” said Joe Thompson, parent of a student at the school. “You just people want it right now. I mean, I want information as well. I have a daughter that that was in eighth grade not too long ago and and I want information too, but I got to trust that they’re going to do their job.”
The FBI said a folder sent by Fautz to an undercover agent contained 115 images of “mostly teenage girls, labeled with what appears to be their real names,” the FBI said. Some photos showed students wearing “clearly labeled red shirts” with the letters “SSM and in front of a “SSMCardinals” photo backdrop, investigators said.
“There’s a lot of pain, anger, betrayal,” Thompson said. “When you send your kids to school, you want them to feel safe and feel like you can trust everybody.”
Fautz attended St. Stephen Martyr Catholic School as a student. Riggs said Fautz stood out as a teacher.
“He was kind of a self proclaimed nerd in a way he is very into like sci fi and he’s big Ghostbusters guy, but nothing anywhere like this was imaginable in anyone’s eyes,” Riggs said.
The Louisville Archdiocese said Fautz will not be returning the school.
“This is a great place. It’s a safe place, but we are going through it right now. Like I said, I’m not hesitating to send my son to school on Monday morning and I will continue to be a parishioner here and active in the community,” Thompson said.
Fautz is charged with distributing obscene visual representations of child sexual abuse and distributing child pornography. He will be scheduled to make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of five years and maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
“It’s just a sad thing to see. But you kind of have to keep going forward and know that things happen. You have to come together as community to and look out for those in need and this time and just keep them all in your thoughts and prayers,” Riggs said.
The FBI is investigating and the FBI Louisville Field Office is looking to identify potential victims in the case. To contact the FBI, email SSMtips@fbi.gov.