Manhattan high school teacher arrested for possessing child pornography: Feds

Manhattan teacher accused of possessing child pornography
Manhattan high school teacher Kostas Fekkas allegedly possessed child pornography, according to federal prosecutors
Photos courtesy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York

Federal authorities arrested a Manhattan high school teacher for alleged possession of child pornography, prosecutors announced Friday. 

Constantine Fekkas, an 34-year-old educator from Hartsdale, was arrested on Sept. 14; he faces up to 40 years behind bars, according to prosecutors with the Southern District of New York, who charged the suspect with possession and receipt of child pornography, along with attempted transfer of obscene material. 

“Kostas Fekkas’s alleged conduct is despicable,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “As a teacher, Fekkas was entrusted with the care and well-being of children, who he in turn allegedly sought to victimize.”

Investigators say that, in December of 2022, an undercover federal agent posed as a 13-year-old girl and connected with Fekkas via the online messaging app “Kik.” The suspect allegedly requested explicit photos from the supposed underage girl, sent naked photos and videos of himself, and claimed to have previously had sex with “with a 10th grader once.” 

That prompted authorities to obtain a search warrant in March, which allowed them to search Fekkas’ cellphone — where they found sexually explicit photos and videos featuring a female appearing to be notably young.

Upon further investigation, authorities matched the girl in those photos to a Snapchat account that had been communicating with Fekkas, apparently by connecting the username with a bracelet that spelled out her first that she was wearing in the explicit photos. 

After comparing Snapchat records with passport information, the federal agents identified the girl in the naked photos and videos as a 12-year-old girl. 

Authorities with the Southern District of New York, in conjunction with the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations, arrested Fekkas on Thursday. He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy in White Plains, and ordered to be detained while awaiting trial. 

“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,” HSI Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo said. “It brings me a sense of relief to know this individual has been removed from both the streets and the classroom.”