The vice president of Naperville-based youth-oriented human service organization KidsMatter was arrested Wednesday for possession and distribution of child pornography, according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
Erich Kroll, 49, was ordered held on $150,000 bond at a hearing Wednesday afternoon. He is facing multiple child pornography charges.
The sheriff’s office said an investigation into the possession and distribution of child pornography files over the internet prompted a search warrant for Kroll’s home in unincorporated DuPage County near Darien. A forensic examination of Kroll’s digital electronic devices turned up child pornography files, the Sheriff’s office said.
“I’m so thankful that we have our Digital Forensic Investigation Unit out there working cases like this and getting these predators off the street,” DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said in a press release. “Crimes against children are crimes against our future and that will not be tolerated in DuPage County.”
Charges Not Affiliated With KidsMatter
Kroll is a senior business banker, along with being the VP of KidsMatter. However DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said the charges against Kroll are not related to KidsMatter.
“The allegations against Mr. Kroll are very disturbing,” Berlin said. “What I find particularly troubling about these allegations is the fact that Mr. Kroll currently serves as Vice President of the Board for KidsMatter. I would like to stress however, that the allegations against Mr. Kroll are in no way affiliated with KidsMatter.”
Nina Menis, the executive director and CEO of KidsMatter, issued the following statement on the matter:
The leadership of KidsMatter would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our unflinching dedication to serving youth and families across communities in DuPage and Will counties and to also make clear the record on recent events surrounding a former volunteer for our board of trustees.
On Tuesday, Erich Kroll, a volunteer who was serving as vice president of the fundraising board, was arrested on child pornography charges by DuPage County authorities. In the news release announcing his arrest, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin stated that the allegations against Mr. Kroll were in no way affiliated with KidsMatter.
Mr. Kroll was not involved in any of the programming that KidsMatter and its partners provide to youth and families. His role was limited to fundraising and strategy.
The KidsMatter board met immediately Wednesday and voted to remove Mr. Kroll as a board member and fundraiser – roles that were volunteer positions working with other adults.
Child protection practices are in place both at KidsMatter and at our partners, and they apply to everyone who works with youth in our programs.
Nevertheless, we are going to take this opportunity to review and, if ever necessary, strengthen our practices around protecting the youth we serve. Nothing is more important to us.
As a 501(c)3 organization under the guidance of civic, educational, and government leaders, KidsMatter has for two decades pursued its mission of helping young people build positive values, healthy relationships, and greater self-esteem. We work collaboratively with our partners and other organizations throughout Will and DuPage counties, including schools, public safety agencies, faith-based communities, and local businesses.
We want to thank our many partners and supporters who share our unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety, health, and development of youth. We pledge to continue to earn your trust and to serve our communities in the most caring, effective, and transparent approach we can provide.
Kroll is next due in court on June 18 at 9 a.m.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
photo courtesy: DuPage County Sheriff’s Office handout
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