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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday June 22nd, 2022 :: 04:05 p.m. PDT

Community

Possession, Production, and Distribution of Child Pornography & Sexual Acts with a Minor

Nature of Incident: Possession, Production, and Distribution of Child Pornography & Sexual Acts with a Minor
 
Report Number: 21-98091
 
Location: Ojai and Newbury Park, CA
 
Date & Time: July 2021
 
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit
Thousand Oaks Sexual Assault Unit
Thousand Oaks Investigations
Simi Valley Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigations - Ventura Office
Homeland Security Investigations - Los Angeles Office
Southern California High Tech Task Force
Los Angeles ICAC Task Force
 
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Age
(S) Kerns, Connor
(V) Juvenile Female
Newbury Park
Ojai
19
Juvenile
 
Narrative:
During the month of July 2021, Ojai Patrol deputies took a report regarding a juvenile female that was tricked into sending child sexual abuse material (CSAM) to a suspected adult male over a social media application.  Through further investigation, detectives identified Connor Kerns as the suspect in the investigation.  
 
The juvenile female sent Kerns nude images and sexual videos via social media. Kerns offered to pay the juvenile for the CSAM and also blackmailed her into sending more CSAM by threatening to “leak” the other images and videos. 
 
Kerns then posed as a hacker from a fictitious social media account and told the juvenile he hacked into Kerns’ account.  Kerns, pretending to be the hacker, threatened to “leak” the CSAM images and videos if the juvenile did not participate in sexual acts with Kerns. 
 
Kerns eventually convinced the juvenile female into meeting up with him in person, which is when he extorted sexual acts and additional CSAM from the juvenile.
 
Detectives discovered further evidence linking Kerns to the crime. Kerns was contacted during the investigation and was interviewed by detectives.  During the course of the investigation, detectives received information through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reference two separate “CyberTips” which involved a Los Angeles County juvenile female and another juvenile female residing in the State of Tennessee, who had been contacted by Kerns under similar circumstances.  
 
On June 20, 2022, numerous detectives served a search warrant in the 400 block of Fallbrook Avenue in Newbury Park, CA. Kerns was arrested and booked at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility on 22 counts related to child pornography and sexual assault.   Kerns is currently awaiting arraignment while being held on $1,000,000 bail. 
 
This investigation is currently ongoing. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office believes there could be additional victims. If you have any information regarding Connor Kerns or this case, please contact Detective Rosalio Cobian of the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 805-384-4723.
 
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) serves as an information clearinghouse and national resource center on issues related to victims, missing and exploited children and operates a national toll-free hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST.  NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation. 
 
The Los Angeles ICAC Task Force is spearheaded by the LAPD with 63 federal and local affiliate agencies that detect and investigate child predators that use the internet as a means to contact children or deal in child pornography.  The ICAC Program helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children. 
 
Supervised by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, the High-Tech Task Force is made up of investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, and civilian computer forensic examiners. The unit provides highly technical computer forensic support for law enforcement agencies which includes assisting in preserving electronic evidence in the field and performing forensic examinations of digital evidence in a lab environment.
 
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind parents to remain vigilant as to their children’s social media and Internet activities to keep them safe from predators and that there are resources that can assist them in keeping their children safe by teaching them about internet safety.  The best tool we have to prevent Internet crimes against children is education.   
 
The Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will be offering a virtual event of information and resources to parents, educators and child serving professionals to help everyone #StartTheConversation about technology safety.  This event will take place June 28th from 11:00 am to 4:15 pm EDT.  To sign up for this free Internet Safety event please register at https://www.icactaskforce.org and click on INTERNET SAFETY. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prepared by: Detective Rosalio Cobian  
News Release Date: June 22, 2022  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective Rosalio Cobian
805-384-4723
[email protected]
 
 
Approved by:
 
 
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Victor Medina
 
 
 YES     NO  
 
           
 
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
 

Address/Location
Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Contact
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Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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