POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A sheriff’s deputy from the Florida panhandle is facing charges in Polk County after investigators say he preyed on a 9-year-old Winter Haven girl through a gaming app.
“These worthless deviants are online looking for your children,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Judd says this latest case is why his agency spends so much time trying to stop online predators.
Okaloosa County deputy Cansas Sadler Jr. is under arrest after investigators say he exchanged nude pictures with a 9-year-old Winter Haven girl.
Judd says Sadler found the child on an interactive gaming app called The Wolf and he pretended to be a young girl named Jade.
“If you are going to allow your 9-year-old child to have a phone that connects to the internet, that connects to gaming apps," Judd said. "You’ve got to know what they are doing.”
Investigators say Sadler was grooming the girl with pornographic pictures, explicit messages and even talked to her on the phone before the victim’s older sister finally recognized something was wrong.
She told their mother, who actually answered one of Sadler’s calls.
Cyber Safety Consulting owner Liz Repking says just about every game kids play on-line has a chat feature.
“Once they have that chat feature enabled that people are able to connect with them and build relationships and gain trust and do all the things this person probably did through the chat feature,” said Repking.
Not only was Sadler a deputy, but the married father of two is also a retired US Army Ranger.
“These games, these apps in are allowing 9-year-olds in this case to connect with people all over the world,” said Repking.
For more information on cyber safety go to cybersafetyconsulting.com.