December 8, 2021

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Elementary teacher among 12 pedophiles arrested in online child sting in northeast Ohio

3 min read
physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School

Twelve men have been arrested including a PE elementary school teacher after a long three-day sting operation.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said 24-year-old James Norkus of 36502 Perry Grange Road, Salem, who is a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School in Youngstown, was among the 12 pedophiles arrested and charged.

James Norkus, 24

The 24-year-old physical education teacher is facing charges of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and possession of criminal tools.

“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,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Protecting children is one of my highest priorities, and we will continue to do all we can to stop offenders from harming Ohio’s kids.”

The following pedophiles arrested named below by police have been charged with importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and possession of criminal tools:

  • Naji Alsagoor, 25, Boardman
  • James Norkus, 25, Salem
  • Robert Canann Jr., 50, Niles
  • Justin Coyne, 21, Cleveland
  • Adam Dziedzic, 38, New Castle, Pennsylvania
  • Brandon Gorcheff, 26, North Lima
  • Thomas Maylone Jr., 29, East Liverpool
  • Kevin McNally, 23, Boardman
  • Alexander Morlan, 21, New Middletown
  • Andrew Nuzzi, 22, Girard
  • Peter Petroff Jr., 47, Boardman
  • Edward Webker, 41, Andover

The suspects have all been charged with having sexually explicit online conversations with an undercover officer posing as juveniles.

Webker and Nuzzi were also charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles after investigators said the pair sent sexually explicit pictures during their online chat with the undercover officers.

Maj. Jeff Allen of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s office said he was surprised that a major sting operation targeting pedophiles nabbed an elementary school teacher with Youngstown City Schools. “It’s concerning,” Allen said.

“Doing these operations you have to be prepared for whoever walks into that door.” James Norkus, 24, of Salem is suspended without pay from his position as a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary pending the outcome of charges of importuning, attempted sexual conduct with a minor and possession of criminal tools. He has worked in the district since August 2017.”

The Mahoning County Human Trafficking Task Force got its start about a year and a half ago, and it has been working with the Attorney General’s Office to set up such sex stings.

“I want everybody to know. You know, anyone who is out there who is looking to exploit anyone who is underage, that if they’re on the Internet and they’re talking to anybody, I want them to think that it could be one of us,” said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

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