A high school science teacher in Gilroy, California, has been arrested and charged with posing as a teenaged girl online in order to trick students into sending him explicit photos and other “harmful material,” a report says.
Police arrested Douglas Le, 25, at his home on Tuesday and charged him with felony child enticement. The teacher was then booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.
During the initial investigation, police say they discovered Le had used a fake Internet persona on Facebook to trick teens into sending him explicit images. Posing as a teenaged girl, police allege that Le tricked kids into thinking they were building a relationship with his female screen persona. It is an act many call “catfishing.”
Authorities allege that Le persuaded some students to send him “harmful material,” including explicit images of themselves.
The department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Detail task force conducted the investigation and alerted the school district and parents of the results of their investigation.
A Gilroy Unified School District spokesperson said Le was placed on administrative leave while the case is pending.
In a public statement, district Superintendent Deborah Flores said, “I want to reassure parents and the community that the safety of our students remains our highest priority.”
The teacher has been in education since 2013. His Linkdin profile also mentions he is a track-and-field coach.
One Gilroy parent, though, told the media she had warned the school about Le some time ago.
“I warned the Gilroy school district about this teacher over 1 1/2 years ago when he sent sexual texts to my child. I brought them proof. Did they take appropriate action? No. Could this have been prevented? You bet. More should (and) could have been done,” the mother of a Gilroy student told KSBW.
Police urge that if any other students have had contact with Le online, they should contact police Detective Sgt. Brian Spears at 408-537-1381, or leave an anonymous tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867.
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