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Connor Joseph Kerns sentenced to 19 years state prison for online sex crimes against two minors


VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced Thursday that Connor Joseph Kerns of Thousand Oaks was sentenced to 19 years in state prison for sex crimes against two minors.

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office details that Kerns pled guilty on Feb. 2, 2024, to three felony charges and additional special allegations that are listed below.

Felony Charges:

  • PC 261(a)(2)-Forcible Rape
  • PC 287(c)(2)(C)-Forcible Oral Copulation on a Minor Over 14
  • PC 289(a)(1)(B)-Forcible Penetration of Genital and Anal Opening of a Child Under 14

Special Allegations:

  • PC 264(c)(2)-Victim was 14 Years of Age or Older
  • CRC 4.421(a)(3)-Victim was Vulnerable
  • PC 1203.065(a)-Violent Sex Offenses
  • PC 784.7(a)-Ventura County has Jurisdiction

In July of 2021, Kerns contacted a 16-year-old girl through Snapchat where he coerced her into sending sexually provocative pictures of herself that he saved to his phone despite multiple conversations where her age was mentioned detail Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Days after receiving the pictures, a different Snapchat user with the name "Dexter" -who was actually Kerns himself- contacted the 16-year-old stating they had hacked Kerns' Snapchat account and would post the provocative images online unless she agreed to send nude photos and videos of herself explain Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

The teen was concerned she would get into trouble and complied with the demands state Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

According to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, Kerns then used the Dexter account to demand the 16-year-old engage in numerous sex acts in person with Kerns.

The 16-year-old complied with the demands over the next several days before contacting law enforcement detail Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

An investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office revealed that in January of 2022, Kerns had used Snapchat to victimize a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles County and in that case, Kerns had also coerced the child into sending numerous explicit photos/videos of herself before threatening to leak that material online unless she followed his additional demands explain Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

On Jun. 23, 2022, Kerns was arrested by deputies with Ventura County Sheriff's Office and charged on the above counts state Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

"The severity of this sentence highlights the defendant’s appalling crimes while demonstrating the perils of social media," said Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Moreno who prosecuted the case. "The defendant sexually exploited vulnerable young girls, inflicting irreparable harm in the process. This sentence sends a clear message that such despicable acts won't be tolerated, and sexual predators will face full prosecution. We hope it serves as a reminder to parents to stay vigilant and discuss social media risks with their children.”

In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that online enticement of children saw an 82 percent increase between 2021 and 2022.

A contributing factor in that increase was a spike in financial sextortion, a version of child exploitation where children are blackmailed by a person who obtained sexual content of them detail the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County
crime and convictions
felony sex crimes
ventura county
Ventura County District Attorney's Office

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Andrew Gillies

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