Coachella Valley teacher caught by Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force sting operation

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Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

EL CENTRO – A 59-year-old Coachella Valley high school teacher is facing felony state child sexual exploitation charges for allegedly contacting a minor under the age of 14 with the intent to commit sexual and lewd offenses, according to an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement press release.

The suspect was employed as a Green Energy and Technology Academy teacher and coordinator according to the Desert Mirage school webpage.

Anthony Robert Korwin of Vista was taken into custody June 5 during an undercover operation conducted by the Imperial Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (IV-ICAC). The probe was initiated by the Task Force in response to a Craigslist ad posted online. During the investigation, Korwin allegedly agreed to meet a 13-year-old girl at a parking lot in El Centro. When Korwin arrived at the location, he was taken into custody by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Task Force officers, according to the release.

At his arraignment in Superior Court, June 7, the suspect pleaded not guilty to two felony counts involving child sex offenses and his bail has been set at $250,000. Korwin’s court hearing was June 21 in Imperial County Superior Court at at the Brawley courthouse, according to the court calendar.

 This case is the product of HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children, according to a press release. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued, according to the release.