Broward Teachers Union president Tony Gentile surrendered to U.S. Marshals after his indictment Aug. 30 on federal child pornography charges. Gentile is charged with one count of trying to induce a minor into engaging in a sexual act and one count possession of child pornography, according to the indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The charges carry a combined penalty of up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
The union boss was arrested July 26, when he allegedly showed up outside a Ft. Lauderdale store where he planned to meet an Internet acquaintance who had presented herself as a 14-year-old girl. The “girl” was an undercover police detective working with a special task force that handles crimes against minors over the Internet. Gentile has run the union in since 1979 and has taken an indefinite leave of absence since his arrest.[Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) 8/31/01]