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Ex-Covina teacher among 250 nabbed in child predator sweep

July 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A nationwide sweep nabbed more than 200 suspected child predators, including a dozen in Southern California. The operation was aimed at cracking down on predators who use the Internet to lure and exploit children.

One of the 250 alleged child predators is John David Boyle, a former teacher at Royal Oak Middle School in Covina. Investigators say he arranged to meet an undercover agent in his classroom for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity while watching child porn. Investigators say they have since identified a 14-year-old boy who was sexually abused by Boyle.

"Being a teacher myself, people put their children in our care," said Covina resident Joe Brown. "Unfortunately there are a few out there that abuse it, and it makes it tough for the rest of us."

Professional inline skater David Jones was also identified in the sting. Authorities say he had several thousand pornographic images of children as young as 6.

More than a third of the alleged 61 juvenile victims identified in the operation were engaging online with the predators who exploited them.

"They convince a child to maybe share some nude video or images with them, they record it, and then they go back to them and say, 'OK, now I want you to do this for me, or I want you to make more videos for me, or I'm going to tell your parents,'" said Claude Arnold, Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge.

That's why authorities stress monitoring your children's Internet use and keeping the computer in a common area. You can also get software to control where they are going on the Internet or what apps they can have on their phones. It's a conversation some parents are already having with their kids.

"She's aware that she can't be going online and talking to strangers, and because of her age, we are slowly getting to that," said West Covina resident Odette Perez.

"Parents have to be smart about what their kids are doing; not letting them have computers in their rooms; keeping it more in the family area. That way they can keep a better eye on things," said Brown.

Experts say it's also essential to talk to your child about the risks.

"You may think you're talking to another child your age or teenager but you may not be; it could be a predator out here," said Arnold.

Boyle is being held without bond. He has a trial date in August. Investigators say he may have more victims. Anyone with information was asked to call ICE at 1-866-347-2423.


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