An elementary school teacher was one of twelve men who was arrested in a child sex exploitation sting in Mahoning County.
The arrests stem from an undercover investigation where officers posing as juveniles had online conversations with the men. Each of the suspects allegedly visited a vacant home with the intent of having a sexual encounter with a minor, authorities said.
James Norkus, 24, was charged with importuning, unlawful sexual conduct with minors and possession of criminal tools. Norkus is a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School in Youngstown, authorities said.
"It is reprehensible that anyone would arrange to meet with a juvenile for sex, but it is even more appalling when the person facing charges is an elementary school teacher," Attorney General DeWine said.
Eleven other individuals were also charged during the undercover operation:
- Naji Alsagoor, 25, of Boardman
- Robert Canann Jr., 50, of Niles
- Justin Coyne, 21, of Cleveland
- Adam Dziedzic, 38, New Castle, of Pennsylvania
- Brandon Gorcheff, 26, of North Lima
- Thomas Maylone Jr., 29, of East Liverpool
- Kevin McNally, 23, of Boardman
- Alexander Morlan, 21, of New Middletown
- Andrew Nuzzi, 22, of Girard
- Peter Petroff Jr., 47, of Boardman
- Edward Webker, 41, of Andover
They were also charged with importuning, unlawful sexual conduct with minors and possession of criminal tools. In addition, Webker and Nuzzi were charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, according to authorities.
Webker and Nuzzi allegedly sent sexually explicit photos to undercover offers who were masquerading as underage juveniles.