Jan 3, 2023
A music teacher from Apple Valley was arrested Friday after a hidden camera was discovered at the school where he worked, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials.
Kenneth Sockwell, 63, was taken into custody on Friday, October 22, 2021, at the Academy for Excellence, the institution where he was employed. Local KTLA reported that school records confirm Sockwell was the school’s director of visual and performing arts. An announcement from school officials indicated that he is no longer employed at the institution’s Lewis Center for Educational Research.
A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department press release confirmed that investigators were alerted by Academy for Academic Excellence (AAE) staff members on Friday and advised of the hidden camera discovery. The Apple Valley Station proceeded to contact the Crimes Against Children (CAC) Detail and they conducted a joint investigation on the AAE campus.
Authorities did not indicate where the hidden camera was found, but when the investigation concluded, authorities identified Sockwell as the suspect.
Sockwell was arrested at the AAE’s Lewis Center and booked into the High Desert Detention Center for California Penal Code 311.11(a), Possession of Child Pornography. He posted bail over the weekend and was released from custody.
Parents with students at Lewis Center and AAE were informed of the arrest Friday evening. An email from school officials was distributed Sunday with an update on the investigation reading:
“We are shocked and appalled to learn of the serious allegations against a long-standing employee. Upon receiving a concerning report of possible misconduct, we took immediate and swift action to remove the employee from the work environment, and the individual is no longer employed at the Lewis Center.”
School officials also reassured parents that while Sockwell was employed at Lewis Center, they had no knowledge of any “improper conduct occurring at AAE or concerning any student,” according to a report from local VVNG.
VVNG also reported that the KenSockwell.com website which was active over the weekend is now offline. Prior to being taken down, Sockwell’s site stated, “MUSIKEN is the name I have gone by, for both business and hobby, since 1980. I am a musician, mostly guitar and keyboard.” Sockwell’s site also stated he lives with his wife and two children.
The Academy for Academic Excellence is a K-12 public charter school located in Apple Valley, California.
Anyone with information regarding the ongoing investigation into Kenneth Sockwell is urged to contact Detective Thomas Hollenbaugh from the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at 909-387-3615 (case number 182104788). Those wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or submit information via www.wetip.com.
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