A teacher was arrested at Edmonson County High School in Kentucky this week after an investigation found he allegedly had an online conversation that was “sexual in nature” with a person he believed was a minor and asked for photos of them, authorities say.
U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman announced Thursday that William Oneal Lindsey, 28, of Brownsville, has been charged with attempted production of child pornography and attempted online enticement.
Lindsey had been worked for Edmonson County High School’s Youth Service Center through the Jobs for America’s Graduates program, the Bowling Green Daily News reported.
The high school in Brownsville is about 25 miles northeast of Bowling Green.
A criminal complaint said Lindsey began an online conversation Jan. 7 that “was sexual in nature” with a person he believed to be a minor but who was actually an undercover officer with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations.
After several days of conversations, a detective arrested Lindsey at Edmonson County High School on Wednesday without incident, according to an affidavit.
Lindsey admitted to authorities he believed the person he met online was a minor and said the conversation was “sexual in nature and he asked for images,” according to the complaint.
“Lindsey offered that he should not have engaged in the behavior due to the age of the person he was talking to and went on to say that he had communicated with numerous other girls on various platforms concerning sexually explicit topics and that he believed many of them were minors,” Detective Matt Hedden said in the affidavit.
Hedden works in the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and is currently assigned to U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force.
At the beginning of his conversation with Lindsey on the Omegle chat website, Hedden said he posed as a 15-year-old girl from Louisville, according to the complaint.
“The United States Attorney’s Office and the Kentucky Attorney General stand united in protecting our kids,” Coleman said Thursday in a news release. “We will not permit predators to use the guise of our some of our most trusted and respected fellow citizens, its teachers, to exploit our young people.”
“Child perpetrators are becoming increasingly clever in the methods they use to entice and exploit children, and our Department of Criminal Investigations is focused on devoting resources to tracking these perpetrators online and stopping them before they can carry out crimes against a child,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron added. “Our office worked closely on this investigation with U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, U.S. Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, Edmonson County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Louisville Metro Police Department, and I appreciate their partnership.”
If convicted, Lindsey could face between 10 years and life in prison on the attempted enticement charge and between 15 years and life on the child production charge.
Both counts carry a fine of $250,000 and between five years to life on supervised release.
Lindsey is currently held in the Grayson County Detention Center as he awaits a federal court date.
Reach Billy Kobin at [email protected]