A teacher’s aide at a Tampa, Fla., middle school was taken into police custody Monday after being accused of soliciting nude photos and requesting sexual encounters from two underage girls at the school.
According to the Bradenton Herald, 24-year-old Quinton Bradford is facing charges of obscene communication using computer/devices to solicit and lure children, and was released from the Hillsborough County Jail after posting $30,000 bail.
County deputies said that Bradford, who works at the Buchanan Middle School, admitted to asking two 13-year-old girls at the school for explicit photos. Detectives say that over a period of several months, Bradford contacted the girls through private social media messages in which he solicited and received the photos from the girls. In one case, he also asked for a sexual encounter, which never occurred, authorities said.
Bradford came under scrutiny after law enforcement was called to the school by administration over inappropriate photos of him circulating among the students. The photos had been taken from his social media accounts. During that investigation, detectives uncovered his inappropriate communication with the young girls.
From the Bradenton Herald:
Bradford first made contact with the girls through their Instagram accounts and gained their trust, detectives said, by complimenting their looks. The online conversation escalated to the point that Bradford openly asked for nude photos and told one victim he wanted to meet her so he could touch her inappropriately and have sex with her, detectives said, and asked the other victim for nude photos on three different occasions.
According to the report, it is not clear if there are any other victims in the case. The Hillsborough County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office is encouraging anyone with further knowledge to contact the agency.
School district spokesperson Tanya Arja told WTSP-TV that there are steps being taken to terminate Bradford, who has been with the district since September 2014.