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Child Exploitation

Maryland teacher arrested on child pornography charges

BALTIMORE - A federal grand jury indicted John Joseph Kovach, Jr., 52, of Reisterstown, Md., today on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, following a joint investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to the indictment and court documents, John Kovach was an assistant field hockey coach at Towson University and was a teacher and coach at a private elementary school in Montgomery County, Md. On Feb. 27, 2009, a California investigator contacted the Baltimore County Police Department concerning an individual who was contacting young girls over the Internet and engaging in sexually explicit conversations. As part of their investigation, Baltimore County Police executed search warrants at Kovach's home and at both of the schools where he worked, seizing computers and other materials related to their investigation. A federal search warrant was issued for the seized computers and the indictment alleges that Kovach received and possessed child pornography which was transported over the Internet.

If convicted, Kovach faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. No court appearance has been scheduled.

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 U. S. 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.

Rosenstein praised ICE, the Baltimore County Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.