UPDATE | City Schools teacher nabbed as part of sexual-predator sting
YOUNGSTOWN — Twelve people, including a local teacher, have been taken into custody over the last three days as part of a sexual predator by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
One of the 12, James Norkus, 24, of Salem, is a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School. Norkus has been suspended without pay pending charges.
He was arrested on charges of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and possession of criminal tools.
“We take the safety of our students very seriously and I want to assure all of our parents that their children are safe while they are entrusted to us,” said City Schools CEO Krish Mohip.
Norkus, who was hired by the district in August 2017, was working as a physical education teacher at Kirkmere Elementary School at the time of his arrest.
In addition to Norkus, the following suspects were also each arrested on charges of importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and possession of criminal tools:
Naji Alsagoor, 25, Boardman
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 12 are accused of having sexually explicit conversations online with an undercover officer, then arranging to meet at a vacant home in Mahoning County with who they thought they were chatting with.
At a news conference this afternoon, Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said his office will continue to conduct sting operations that target those who intend to prey on children.
“If anyone is out there online talking to someone, I want them to think it could be one of us,” Greene said.