NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn teacher is out of the classroom and behind bars on child pornography charges.

Jonathan Deutsch, 34, is accused of targeting minors on Facebook to produce child porn.

He was a teacher at Leon M. Goldstein High School for Sciences in Manhattan Beach but was reassigned away from students beginning in January.

Deutsch faced a judge Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

jonathan deutsch Brooklyn High School Students Shocked To Learn Teacher Charged With Child Porn

Jonathan Deutsch. (credit: Leon Goldstein HS)

Federal prosecutors allege the 34-year-old preyed on vulnerable children and teens on Facebook, persuading them to send sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

In a memo, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said around January of last year, Deustch began using multiple Facebook accounts to message hundreds of apparent minors, as young as 10 years old.

He allegedly had communications of a sexual nature with at least 45 of them, using his status as a teacher to develop relationships and then convicting them to send nude images of themselves, often instructing them what to do.

The Department of Education released a statement, reading, “These are extremely disturbing allegations, and Mr. Deutsch will remain reassigned away from students. We will seek his removal from payroll and termination as soon as legally possible.”

“Everybody’s really surprised, like some people just plainly don’t believe it,” student Constantine Trubitski told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

“I thought he was a good teacher at first, but after hearing this, my mindset changed,” another student added.

“The fact that he would do this to minors ranging our age is disgusting,” student Lada Mazur said. “I don’t know how I can trust teachers anymore after this. I feel so weirded out, creeped out that such a nice, honest man could have done such a thing.”

Mazur, a junior, said Deustch taught her English class last year.

“He was honestly my favorite teacher. I looked forward to his class every single day,” she said.

“He joined like dance programs and helped out with the performances, regarding like drama and stuff like that,” Trubitski added.

The students said they stopped seeing Deustch at school in Janurary.

“Everybody was like, ‘Where’s Mr. Deustch?’ Everybody said it was a family emergency,” said another student.

Deutsch is due back in court next month. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.