FAIRBANKS – A former substitute teacher from Kivalina, Alaska, was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline for soliciting nude photos and sex from multiple girls ages 11 to 16 years old.
According to court documents, while Jayson Knox, aka “Birdie,” 23, was a substitute teacher at the Kivalina school, he used social media and text messages to contact 10 young girls asking them for nude photos and to meet up with him to engage in sexually explicit conduct. Knox persisted in his behavior even after being confronted by some of the victims or their family members. He admitted that he was particularly attracted to underaged girls because he thought it was easier to get them to have sex. In addition to asking for nude photos, Knox also sent explicit photos of himself to several of the girls. Knox became the subject of a federal investigation when the Alaska State Troopers contacted the FBI concerning allegations that Knox had engaged in inappropriate conduct with minors in Kivalina. Knox pleaded guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor in September 2021.
“Child predators like Knox are every parent’s nightmare,” said John E. Kuhn, Jr. of the District of Alaska. “Fortunately, this sentence will protect the community for years to come. I commend our prosecutor, the FBI and the Alaska State Troopers for their excellent work in securing this conviction and sentence.”
“In his position of trust, the defendant sexually exploited innocent children, and betrayed his entire community in the process,” said Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “Whether it’s an urban area or a small coastal village on an island, the FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, and hold accountable anyone who seeks to harm children.”
“Child sexual exploitation is a problem in all of Alaska, but thanks to the dedication of skilled investigators and coordination with our federal and local partners, offenders such as Mr. Knox are being brought to justice,” said Alaska State Trooper Capt. Andrew Gorn, Commander of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation. “There is no place in society for these acts on children and we will continue to vigorously pursue those who perpetuate these crimes.”
The FBI and the Alaska State Troopers investigated the case as part of the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Doty prosecuted the case.
This investigation is part of the Rural Alaska Anti-Violence Enforcement (RAAVEN) Working Group’s ongoing efforts to build the capacity of federal, state, and tribal law enforcement in rural Alaska. The RAAVEN Working Group, led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, encourages extensive collaboration among law enforcement at all levels, rural communities, Alaska Native groups, victim service organizations, and care providers. Current law enforcement members of the working group include the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), State of Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS), State of Alaska Department of Law (DOL), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), FBI, DEA, ATF, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Anchorage Police Department (APD).
The investigation is also part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood combines 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.justice.gov/psc.