COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado Springs elementary school physical education teacher has been arrested on charges of internet sexual exploitation of a child, according to police.
Joshua Silverthorn, 34, was arrested Thursday morning. Silverthorn is a PE teacher at Monterey Elementary School in southeastern Colorado Springs. Harrison School District 2 said he was put on administrative leave immediately after the arrest.
Police said the arrest came after an investigation by the Durango Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Durango Police Department had been conducting an undercover operation over the last two months, according to police. During the operation, undercover law enforcement used various websites to communicate with people who were interested in having sex with children, according to police.
Police identified Silverthorn as one of the suspects, and on Monday, they asked the task force to continue the investigation.
The task force searched Silverthorn’s home and workplace and arrested him around 6:45 a.m. Thursday, according to police.
District 2 said they conducted a full background check, including a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review and a fingerprint submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, when Silverthorn was hired. The checks did not indicate any prior inappropriate behavior or criminal activity, according to the district.
“As this is a personnel matter, it will be handled per district policy and state law,” the district said in a statement.