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A registered sex offender who allegedly posed as a teenage boy online, carried on sexually explicit conversations with a 16-year-old girl and showed up at her Escondido home one day after his parole ended pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges including possession of child pornography and misdemeanor annoying or molesting a child.

Rennard Cawkwell, 47, of Oceanside was ordered held on $1 million bail. He was booked into jail Tuesday, on his 47th birthday.

“The 16-year-old victim in this case believed that she was communicating online with a 17-year-old male,” Escondido police Lt. Ed Varso said. “What the victim did not know was that the ’17-year-old’ that she was communicating with was actually a 46-year-old registered sex offender on active GPS monitored parole, Rennard Cawkwell.”

Varso said Cawkwell was released from parole and GPS monitoring late last month. He allegedly showed up at the girl’s home the day after, but members of her family and a neighbor thwarted the attempt to meet and called police.

Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce detectives then launched an investigation, which culminated in Cawkwell’s arrest.

“Rennard Cawkwell’s aggressive behavior and status as a registered sex offender demonstrate that he posed an immediate threat to young girls,” Varso said. Cawkwell faces 11 years and eight months in prison if convicted. He will be back in court May 9 for a readiness conference and May 12 for a preliminary hearing.

–City News Service

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