Former Montgomery County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Multiple Child Exploitation Offenses After Traveling to the Philippines to Have Sex with Children
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Craig Alex Levin, 66, of King of Prussia, PA, pleaded guilty to six counts of child exploitation offenses before United States District Court Judge Harvey Bartle, III, stemming from his travel to the Philippines over a nearly three-year period for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minor children, some as young as 12 years of age. He also engaged in commercial sex trafficking by brokering the sale of a minor girl, who was pregnant at the time, for sex with an adult sex offender in exchange for money.
In May 2021, the defendant was charged by Superseding Indictment with multiple counts of interstate and foreign travel for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, use of an interstate commerce facility to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, distribution of child pornography, transfer of obscene material to a minor, and transportation of child pornography. Levin was first indicted with child exploitation offenses related to his travel to the Philippines in February 2020.
According to Court documents, Levin was a retired special education teacher for the Lower Merion School District. Between August 2016 and May 2019, the defendant traveled to the Philippines nine times to have sex with minor children. Prior to and during his travels, Levin created and maintained Facebook accounts that he used to communicate with minors in the Philippines for the purpose of enticing them to engage in illicit sexual conduct with him during his visits to the island nation. In addition, the defendant used Facebook Messenger to send child pornography to minors in the Philippines.
“Mr. Levin, someone who worked for years in a position of trust as a teacher, traveled to country and stayed for months at a time in order to prey on children undetected – or so he thought,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Our Office, together with our law enforcement partners, works day and night to investigate and track criminals like this defendant, even when they try to hide on the other side of the world. Our message to them with this case is simple: you cannot hide; we will find you and we will hold you accountable in a court of law.”
“Craig Levin apparently thought, because he was halfway around the world, he could commit these heinous crimes with impunity,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He could not have been more wrong. As this case shows, the FBI’s reach is long, and we’ll do everything in our power to end the sexual exploitation of children, be they in Philadelphia or the Philippines. Protecting vulnerable kids from predators like Levin continues to be one of the Bureau’s top priorities.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Damiani and Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry of the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.