U.S. Attorney Charges High School Teacher With Attempted Transfer Of Obscene Material And Receipt And Possession Of Child Pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Kostas Fekkas Received and Possessed Sexually Explicit Content from a 12-Year-Old Girl and Sent Sexually Explicit Content to an Undercover Agent Posing as a 13-Year-Old Girl
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ivan J. Arvelo, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced that KOSTAS FEKKAS, a/k/a “Constantine Fekkas,” a/k/a “C.J. Justice,” was arrested on September 14, 2023, and charged via a criminal Complaint filed in White Plains federal court with possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and attempted transfer of obscene material. FEKKAS was presented in White Plains federal court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy, who ordered that FEKKAS be detained.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Kostas Fekkas’s alleged conduct is despicable. As a teacher, Fekkas was entrusted with the care and well-being of children, who he in turn allegedly sought to victimize. I’m grateful to our diligent law enforcement partners and the dedicated prosecutors of this Office for bringing charges in this important case, and I encourage anyone who believes they may have information regarding Fekkas’s alleged conduct to report this information at 1-866-DHS-2423 or www.ice.gov/webform/ice-tip-form.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo said: “As parents, we entrust our children's safety to the school each day, believing they are in safe hands. The accused stands charged with heinous crimes against an individual he believed to be a child, unaware that it was an undercover agent. It brings me a sense of relief to know this individual has been removed from both the streets and the classroom.”
As alleged in the Complaint filed yesterday:
In December 2022, an undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl named “Riley” had a conversation on Kik (a mobile messaging application) with someone with the username “C.J.Justice” (“C.J.”). C.J.’s Kik account was registered to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Among other things, C.J. introduced himself as a 30-year-old male from New York who teaches high school physics; sent multiple photographs of himself to Riley that resembled a photograph of FEKKAS that had been posted on a public charter school’s website; repeatedly asked Riley for photographs, including photographs of her “body”; sent a video of someone masturbating and several photographs of an erect penis, including one from inside a classroom, to Riley; described the various kinds of sexual acts he wanted to engage in with Riley; and told Riley that he had sex “with a 10th grader once” and had “been searching ever since” to have sex with a minor again.
In March 2023, law enforcement seized FEKKAS’s cellphone and executed a search warrant to review the data extracted from the cellphone. They discovered that FEKKAS used a mobile application called HideU to hide, among other things, (i) a sexually explicit video in which a young female (“Victim-1”) was rubbing and inserting her fingers into her vagina; (ii) a photograph of the same female with her pink sweatshirt pulled up to expose her breasts; and (iii) a photograph of the same female naked from the head down to her knees. In the video and the photographs, she was wearing a bracelet that spelled out an abbreviated version of her first name. The name on the bracelet matched the name of a Snapchat user who had a chat conversation with “Lysol1834,” the Snapchat account username on FEKKAS’s cellphone. After comparing Snapchat records with passport information, law enforcement confirmed that Victim-1 was a girl who was 12 years old at the time the photographs and sexually explicit video was taken.
Prior to his arrest, FEKKAS was a teacher at a public charter high school located in upper Manhattan, New York. It also appears that FEKKAS previously worked at several other schools in the Bronx and Westchester counties.
There may be more victims of this alleged conduct. If you have information to report, contact HSI through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing-impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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FEKKAS, 34, of Hartsdale, New York, is charged with attempted transfer of obscene material, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and receipt of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The minimum and maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative efforts of HSI and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office. He added that the investigation is ongoing.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Ly is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the descriptions of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.
Updated September 15, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-317