DA’s office arrests Arizona teacher on Internet child-exploitation charge

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By Emile Hallez

The Jeffco district attorney’s office arrested an Arizona teacher on July 11 on suspicion of Internet child exploitation.

Eighth-grade science teacher Justin Ray Sargent, 33, is accused of contacting a DA’s employee who was posing as a 15-year-old girl in an online chat room. According to an arrest affidavit, Sargent sent a number of sexually explicit messages and repeatedly asked the supposed teen for nude photos.

Sargent, who the affidavit states was employed by the Marana Unified School District in Tucson, also allegedly sent photos to the supposed teen. Some of the pictures were graphic, and one was of another man, who Sargent claimed was himself, the affidavit states.

After being contacted by an investigator, Sargent turned himself in without incident, the affidavit states. Sargent, who has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 16, posted a $10,000 personal-recognizance bond and was given permission to return to Arizona.

A representative from the Marana school district was not immediately available for comment.


Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.comor 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.