On June 20, 2022, numerous detectives served a search warrant in the 400 block of Fallbrook Ave. in Newbury Park, half a mile from Maple Elementary, arresting 19-year-old Connor Kerns on 22 counts, including possession, production and distribution of child pornography and sexual acts with a minor. The victim was from Ojai.
Numerous law enforcement entities were involved, including the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit, the Thousand Oaks Sexual Assault Unit, the Simi Valley Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation began in July 2021 when Ojai patrol deputies took a report regarding a juvenile female who was tricked into sending child sexual abuse material to a suspected adult male over a social media application. Detectives identified Kerns as the suspect. He offered to pay the girl to send him nude images and sexual videos via social media and blackmailed her into sending more by threatening to “leak” the other images and videos.
According to sheriff’s statements, Kerns then posed as a hacker from a fictitious social media account and told the girl he hacked into Kerns’ account. Kerns, pretending to be the hacker, threatened to “leak” the images and videos if the girl did not participate in sexual acts with Kerns. The girl met Kerns in person and was further victimized.
Tips also linked Kerns to cases involving girls in Los Angeles County and Tennessee. Kerns is awaiting arraignment and being held on $1,000,000 bail. The investigation is ongoing, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office believes there could be additional victims. If readers have information regarding Connor Kerns or this case, please contact Detective Rosalio Cobian of the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at 805-384-4723.