Representative for Explorers recruitment program accused of sexting juvenile

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A man has been arrested accused of sexting a high school student in south St. Louis County. He’s accused of targeting students who signed up for the St. Louis County Police Explorers program at Lindbergh High School during Friday’s lunch periods.

One victim’s father told Fox 2/News 11 the recruiter first started texting his son and then started sending explicit photos on SnapChat.

“The messages continued through Sunday and got even more graphic,” the father said.

Explorers are young people, ages 14-21, with an interest in law enforcement. The program is part of the Boy Scouts Learning for Life Career Education Program. It is not actually run by the St. Louis County Police Department.

Explorers get an up-close look at police work and even get to do ride alongs with officers, so long as they do not involve any dangerous assignments.

Police say the recruiter, who is about 20 years old, sent sexually explicit messages to at least one victim, a 15-year-old sophomore male, who signed up at Lindbergh. The principal has sent a letter to parents saying the school resource officer, who is a county police officer, has talked to the small number of students the recruiter contacted. The letter says at no time was the recruiter alone with students.

There is just one confirmed victim at this point. His father said it was disheartening but that his son actually learned a lot about police work, helping to solve at least one crime and potentially preventing others.

“I’m very proud of my son; the way he handled himself, came to me immediately, I couldn’t be prouder,” he said.

At least two other boys from Lindbergh blocked the recruiter on their phones after getting suggestive messages.

The suspect has been to other schools to sign up students. It’s still unclear “when” and “how many.”

There are 11 active explorers in his South County troop. It’s not yet known if they’ve been victimized.

The suspect was still in custody Tuesday afternoon. Charges are pending.

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