Words: Steve Brown
A former West Virginia police officer has had to register as a sex offender after sending an X-rated photo to a teenage boy who lied about his age on Grindr.
Thomas Carroll, 44, is a former deputy from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department and at the time was working as a school-resource officer where he started engaging in conversation with the 15-year-old pupil who admitted to lying about his age on the app.
In December 2016, he was busted for sexting with the 15-year-old on the hook-up app and testified that he was a long-time Grindr user and kept two different profiles and admitted to encouraging the teenager to send an explicit photo.
However, the Herald Mail reports that the boy ignored the app’s age requirements and lied about his age to create a Grindr account.
During their conversation on the app, the teenager testified that Carroll hinted at his identity before eventually identifying himself as an officer working at his school, according to court records.
Carroll has now been under house arrest for nearly two years and his plea was originally scheduled for November 13 but he has now reached a deal with prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanour count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor but instead of going to jail, he will be credited with time served but will have to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecutors are now dropping single felony counts of distributing obscene matter to a minor and use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor.