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Joshua Silverthorn

A Colorado Springs elementary school teacher was arrested Thursday after undercover detectives said he was interested in soliciting sex from children online.

Joshua Silverthorn, 34, a physical education teacher at Monterey Elementary School in southeast Colorado Springs, was arrested on suspicion of internet sexual exploitation of a child after a two-month undercover police sting, police said in a news release issued Thursday.

Detectives with the Durango Police Department communicated with several people interested in having sex with children, including Silverthorn, on several websites, the release stated. After determining that Silverton lived and worked in Colorado Springs, Durango police contacted the Colorado Springs Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force on May 17 to complete the arrest, police said.

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Silverthorn was placed on administrative leave immediately, according to a statement from Harrison School District 2. When he was hired, the school administration completed a full background check, including a Colorado Bureau of Investigation review and sent fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, according to the statement.

"The background checks for Mr. Silverthorn did not indicate any prior inappropriate behavior or criminal activity," officials said in the statement.

Police continue to investigate the case. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Silverthorn became a physical education teacher with the school district in July 2017.

He also lists Ventana Vista Elementary School in Tucson, Ariz., as a previous employer, though it is unclear how long he taught physical education at the school.

If you suspect a child is being sexually exploited online, you can call 1-800-THE-LOST.

Reach Olivia at olivia.prentzel@gazette.com.

Twitter: @oliviaprentzel

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