Hartsdale resident Kostas Fekkas, age 34, was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 14 on child pornography charges and presented in White Plains federal court, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced.
According to federal officials, before his arrest, Fekkas, also known as “Constantine Fekkas" and “C.J. Justice" had been a teacher at a public charter high school in upper Manhattan, New York. He had also previously taught at other schools in the Bronx and Westchester as well.
In December 2022, an undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl named "Riley" began a conversation over the mobile messaging app Kik with someone with the username “C.J.Justice." This account had been registered to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, officials said.
During this conversation, "C.J." introduced himself to "Riley" as a 30-year-old high school physics teacher from New York before allegedly sending pictures of himself that looked similar to a picture of Fekkas posted on the website of the school he worked at.
He also asked "Riley" for pictures, including ones of her body, according to officials, who also added that he sent videos of someone masturbating and photos of an erect penis to the agent. One of these pictures was even taken from the inside of a classroom, officials said.
The conversation then continued when "C.J." allegedly described sexual acts he wanted to engage in with "Riley" and told the agent that he had sex "with a 10th grader once” and had “been searching ever since” to have sex with a minor again, according to the US Attorney's Office.
Months later, in March 2023, authorities seized Fekkas' phone and executed a warrant to review the device's data. Investigators then found that he had allegedly used a phone app called HideU to hide the following:
- A sexually explicit video of a young female victim rubbing and inserting her fingers into her vagina;
- A photo of the same young victim with her pink sweatshirt pulled up to expose her breasts;
- A photo of the victim naked from her head to her knees.
In both the video and photos, the victim had been wearing a bracelet spelling out an abbreviated version of her name, which matched the name of a Snapchat user who had a conversation with "Lysol1834." This matched the Snapchat username on Fekkas' phone, authorities said.
Authorities were later able to confirm that the victim had been a girl who was 12 years old at the time the video and photos were taken.
Fekkas is now charged with the following:
- Attempted transfer of obscene material, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years;
- Possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years;
- Receipt of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years.
US Attorney Damian Williams called Fekkas' alleged crimes "despicable."
"As a teacher, Fekkas was entrusted with the care and well-being of children, who he in turn allegedly sought to victimize," Williams said.
Officials said there may be more people victimized by Fekkas. Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations at its toll-free tip line of 1-866-DHS-2423 or complete the online tip form by clicking here.
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