Former Evanston Township High School substitute teacher charged with possession of child pornography

Fathma Rahman, Development and Recruitment Editor

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A substitute teacher at Evanston Township High School was charged Friday with possession of child pornography after a student found an unattended cell phone at the school containing sexual pictures of young people, police said.

The incident was originally reported on March 4 after the student went through the phone’s pictures in an effort to identify its owner, Evanston police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said. The student then reported the discovery to school officials. The phone belonged to Ronald Hornish, 60, who was working his first day as a substitute teacher at ETHS.

On Friday, Hornish appeared in bond court, where his bail was set at $200,000, a representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said.

The school resource officer working at ETHS from the police department began an investigation into the reported content of the cell phone, Dugan said.

Police used the evidence on the phone to obtain a subpoena to search Hornish’s residence and recover other electronic devices, which were sent to the Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory for testing, Dugan said.

Hornish turned himself in to Evanston police Aug. 17 and was charged with one count of child pornography possession following the results of the forensics analysis. The pictures discovered were not of any students at the high school, Dugan said.

Hornish’s next court date is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. at the Skokie Courthouse.

Twitter: @fathmarahman