Chicago teacher tried to re-enter USA with a 17-year-old Argentinian boy and possible child pornography: feds

Miami International Airport | Infrogmation

CHICAGO — A former employee at a North Side private school has been charged with attempted production of child pornography after federal authorities became curious when he tried to re-enter the country from Argentina with a 17-year-old boy.

Emilio Vrdoljak of Chicago was ordered to post $250,000 bail and remain on house arrest at his South Loop home by a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Miami on July 13, according to court records.

On Friday, the president of DePaul College Prep in North Center emailed school employees and parents about the arrest, saying Vrdoljak is “a former, short-term employee” who no longer works for the school.

The allegations do not involve anyone from the school, President Mary Dempsey said, but she sent the email “out of an abundance of caution.”

Vrdoljak and a 17-year-old Argentinian boy arrived at Miami International Airport on a flight from Buenos Aires on June 29, a Homeland Security Investigations agent wrote in an affidavit supporting the charge.

Customs and Border Protection officers selected the boy for a secondary inspection. He told them Vrdoljak was his English teacher, and he planned to stay with Vrdoljak in the United States for two weeks as part of his studies.

The officers inspected phones belonging to Vrdoljak and the boy “in an attempt to verify the story,” the agent wrote.

Vrdoljak’s phone allegedly contained images of a male who appeared to be a minor and a sexual chat he had with Vrdoljak. In the conversation, the male said he was 16, but federal authorities have not confirmed that he is a minor.

According to the affidavit, Vrdoljak also sent the unidentified male an explicit video and asked the male to send one back.

They chatted and exchanged images and videos over several days, officials said.

Vrdoljak told the agent that he teaches Spanish at a private preparatory school in Chicago and English in Buenos Aires.

When asked why he continued to chat and exchange files with the person who said they were 16, Vrdoljak told the agent he was “thinking with his butt,” according to the affidavit.

The Argentinian boy who traveled to Miami with Vrdoljak told investigators that Vrdoljak asked him if they could sleep in the same bed while staying at a hotel in Buenos Aires, but the boy nixed that idea, the agent wrote.

Vrdoljak also showed the boy pornography in Buenos Aires and again while they were waiting for their flight to depart for Miami, according to the affidavit. The agent said Vrdoljak denied showing the boy anything on the plane but admitted to the first incident.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About CWBChicago 6550 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com