June 5, 2017
A teacher at Carver Middle School in Leesburg was arrested Tuesday in a Wendy’s parking lot in Lake Mary for allegedly trying to lure a minor into having sex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The 33-year-old apparently texted with an undercover FBI agent he believed was a 12-year-old girl named “Kate” between May 25 and Tuesday “in an attempt to entice the girl to engage in sexual activity,” reports indicate.
The man allegedly told investigators he planned to give the child “an emergency contraceptive pill that agents recovered from his vehicle.”
The man has been a business technical education teacher at the Leesburg school since January.
The man first reached out via an online advertisement titled “Taboo Thursday,” which stated “Taboo is always best within the family. Looking for likeminded individuals to join in the fun. Must be discreet and non judgmental,” according to an arrest report.
He wrote, “Hey there, I saw your ad, I’m intrigued. Can you send me a few more details? And if you’d like, maybe a pic?” the report said. It was the beginning of an exchange between the man and an FBI agent posing as a mother wanting to do something special for her daughter’s birthday, the report said.
When the man arrived at the Wendy’s restaurant, he was arrested by FBI agents.
He was charged with attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, he faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.
The case, investigated by the FBI, was part the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a nationwide project launched in 2006 by the Justice Department. The program collects information by allocating resources at the federal, state and local levels to arrest and prosecute individuals accused of sexually exploiting children.
Many local Orlando area police agencies receive money to set up undercover sting operations intended to lure suspects who chat with minors online. Detectives will usually pretend to be young boys or girls, or their parents/guardians, and then trick the person into meeting at a designated location where they will promptly be arrested.
Our Florida Internet Sting Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are aware that these undercover operations are common throughout the state. They are fairly inexpensive to run and easy to pull off. They typically involve a law enforcement officer masquerading as a child or guardian of a child interested in chatting, exchanging pictures, and arranging a meeting with an unsuspecting individual who will be arrested upon arrival. The charges may vary, but they are usually quite serious and carry severe consequences.
If you are charged with an Internet sex crime, you need to seek legal help right away. Our Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you right away. Your initial consultation is free and we’ll make sure you fully and clearly understand your legal options. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.