A former teacher and debate coach at one of the city’s most competitive high schools pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Friday to one count of receiving material that contained child pornography.
The former teacher, Jon Cruz, 33, was on the faculty of the Bronx High School of Science, and the coach of its storied speech and debate team, which became a formidable national competitor under his leadership. A tireless coach and skilled fund-raiser, he was a popular figure at the school.
The charge carries a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 20.
Mr. Cruz was arrested last year and accused of enticing teenage boys into sending him nude or suggestive photographs.
During the proceeding, the courtroom was crowded with Mr. Cruz’s friends, family, former students and the parents of former students, who had come to support him.
As he left the room, Mr. Cruz turned to the crowd behind him and said, “I love all of you.” A chorus rose back in response: “We love you."