44-year-old Keith Walters is facing charges of sexual exploitation of children after he tried to meet a person he thought was an underage juvenile for sex, AJC.com cites local and state agencies.
According to VSU’s website, Keith Walters is a chemistry professor at the university and is also the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, AJC.com reports.
A spokeswoman for VSU released a statement, saying “The university placed Keith Walters on immediate administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and law enforcement investigations into these very disturbing allegations. VSU remains committed to assisting law enforcement’s investigation in any way.”
GBI spokeswoman Lindsay Marchant said the operation was dubbed “Operation Broken Arrow” which led to the charges against Walters. There were nearly 20 agencies involved in the investigation that was based in Valdosta which took “several months of planning,” Marchant said according to AJC.com.
The 14 men arrested range in ages from 24 to 57. Those arrested include a carpenter, truck driver, forklift driver, electricians, and a retail manager.
The 14 men went into online chatrooms on internet-based websites, according to Marchant. They found people in the chatrooms who they thought were children and initiated conversations with them.
Investigators say that eventually, the conversations became sexual.
“In some of these cases, the subject introduced obscene or lewd content, often exposing the minor to pornography or requesting the child to take nude or pornographic images for them,” AJC.com reports Marchant as saying.
Of the men arrested, investigators say they traveled from all over South Georgia and their intentions were to meet up with a child for sex.
“Every individual arrested during the operation believed they were going to a location to meet with a child and engage in prearranged sex acts,” Marchant stated.
According to AJC.com, the other 13 of the 14 who were arrested as a result of the investigation were: age 43 Dave Vincent Almon, age 57 Stephen Carter, 33-year-olds Walter Lee Curry, and Eric Copeland, age 34 Jamian Hogan, age 45 Henry Hursey, age 35 Andega Mainah, age 43 Keith Morrison, age 36 Wyman Rene Phillips, age 28 Wilford Sermons, age 31 Josue Trejo, 24-year-olds Jamari D. Tripp, and Justin Na’eem Warren.
Featured Image: VSU Dean, Keith Walters (Left) 14 arrested in Georgia child sex sting (Right) (Credit: Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office)
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.