Akron school teacher will not face charges related to video

Only police—not citizens—can act as minors in investigations that target alleged sexual predators

Akron school teacher will not face charges related to video
File photo (Source: AP Images)

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, along with Stow Police Chief Jeff Film, announced Thursday that no charges will be filed against an Akron school teacher caught on camera interacting with who he thought was a 15-year-old boy.

“While the conduct of an adult soliciting a child for sex is very disturbing, according to Ohio law, only a law enforcement officer is permitted to be involved in these types of sting operations. When an adult citizen decides to make their own ‘To Catch a Predator’ TV show and take part in a confrontation, this is not a crime. A citizen cannot pose as a minor child under the law, only a police officer can do that. Let trained law enforcement officers conduct investigations so we can fully prosecute,” said Prosecutor Walsh, in a prepared statement.

Walsh, along with Chief Film, reviewed reports and YouTube footage of two men in their early twenties who, in December, posed as a 15-year-old boy on the internet. They then recorded an interaction with the teacher at a local retail store.

“My police department and officers are well trained in tracking and investigating these types of crimes. This would have been a much different situation had these people alerted my officers and let law enforcement proceed in setting up a legitimate sting operation. We aggressively go after child predators when we receive tips,” said Stow Police Chief Jeff Film in a prepared statement.

19 News won’t name the teacher in question, because they have not been charged, but we are awaiting a response from the Akron City Schools on whether disciplinary action will be taken.

Return to 19 News for updates.

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