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School and group home workers among 4 charged in child sex sting

Left to right, Ryan Matthew Kille, Luke David Ottmann, Alex Waldron and Andrew Curtis Herrington. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – A recent multi-agency metro Phoenix internet sting resulted in child sex crime indictments against four men, including an elementary school custodian and a maintenance man at a children’s group home, authorities announced Thursday.

All four suspects are accused of soliciting sex from undercover agent posing as minors on social media apps and websites, according to an Arizona Attorney General’s Office press release.

They all arrived at locations where they thought the sex acts would take place, the email said.

The Tempe Police Department, Mesa Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and Arizona Attorney General’s Office conducted the sting, called Operation Summer Shield, in late June and early July. The indictments were all filed Aug. 5.

Luke David Ottmann, 51, a custodian at Neely Traditional Academy in Gilbert at the time of his arrest, was charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. The “victim” was posing as a minor at least 15 years old, according to his indictment.

Ottmann was a night-shift custodian and was terminated after his arrest, Gilbert Public Schools said in statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“The crime and arrest did not take place on campus,” the statement said. “The safety of students is our foremost concern at all times.”

Andrew Curtis Herrington, 63, worked at Sunshine Residential Homes when he was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit child sex trafficking, attempted money laundering and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. The “victim” was posing as a minor at least 15 years old, according to his indictment.

Sunshine Residential Homes houses about 300 children in the West Valley under a contract with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, according to the release.

Alex Waldron, 31, was indicted on six counts: luring a minor for sexual exploitation, attempted sexual conduct with a minor, unlawful age misrepresentation and three counts of attempted furnishing harmful items to minors. The “victim” was posing as a minor younger than 15, according to his indictment.

Ryan Matthew Kille, 32, was charged with luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor. The “victim” was posing as a minor younger than 15, according to his indictment.

The original arraignment hearing for all four suspects was scheduled for Sept. 3.

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