ESCONDIDO — Detectives arrested here arrested an Oceanside sex offender for communication with a 16-year-old girl on the Internet.
Rennard Cawkwell, 46, was booked on several felony charges related to his online communication with the girl.
The victim in this case believed she was communicating online with a 17-year-old male, according to the Escondido Police Department. The victim did not know the “boy” was a registered sex offender on an active GPS monitored parole.
During the time Cawkwell was posing as a teenager, he engaged the victim in sexually explicit conversations. Cawkwell was released from parole in late March and his GPS monitor removed. The next day after being released from parole, Cawkwell arrived at the victim’s residence.
Fortunately, family members of the victim and an alert neighbor prevented his efforts to further victimize the female, according to the EPD. The incidents were reported to the police.
Escondido Detective Jeff Udvarhelyi, of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), began an investigation into the incident. The task force works to arrest those who use the Internet to prey upon children.
Recognizing Cawkwell was aggressively seeking underage girls, Udvarhelyi devoted countless hours to quickly, and thoroughly, complete a highly complex investigation. His tenacity paid off this week when a search warrant was served on Cawkwell’s Oceanside home and Cawkwell was taken into custody, according to the EPD.
Cawkwell was charged with meeting with a minor for sex, sending harmful manner to a minor, online sexual enticement of a minor, annoy/molest a minor with a prior offense and possession of child pornography.
Rennard Cawkwell’s aggressive behavior and status as a registered sex offender demonstrate he posed an immediate threat to young girls, the EPD said.
Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter said, “I am proud of the work that was put into this particular case. This case highlights the dedication that members of the Escondido Police Department have in protecting the community. It also highlights the dangers that lurk on the Internet. We urge parents to have conversations with their children and teens on the dangers of online communications. Sadly, Rennard Cawkwell is not the only person posing as something that he is not for the purposes of targeting children.”
For information about the Internet Crimes Against Children, visit their website at www.icactaskforce.org.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.